Federal abortion ban roundup

Politicians, bloggers weigh in on today's Supreme Court decision.

Published April 18, 2007 11:19PM (EDT)

Today, feminist bloggers and activists fired back following the Supreme Court's decision to uphold a federal abortion ban; pro-lifers rejoiced. Here's some of the good, the bad and the ugly.

National Organization for Women: "The law is so vaguely written that it may ban the most common abortion procedure used after 12 weeks of pregnancy, and there is no exception to allow its use if the woman's health is in serious danger," says NOW president Kim Gandy. "The joint ruling ... is a major step in the campaign to outlaw all abortions, first by chipping away at and then by fully overturning Roe v. Wade."

Fox News: "Congress is practicing medicine and the Court has decided to let it, in direct conflict with its own precedent. Five members of the Supreme Court have decided that Congress knows more about obstetrics and gynecology than the doctors in the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology do," says Susan Estrich for, hold onto your jaw, Fox News.

Feminist Majority Foundation: "Already, the decision in Gonzales v. Carhart will mean that women with troubled pregnancies will be forced into more dangerous situations, putting their future ability to have safe and healthy pregnancies at risk," says FMF president Eleanor Smeal. "Older women will be especially affected, as amniocentesis results are released later in the pregnancy. The health and safety of adolescents and pre-teens will also be more at risk, as they are often forced to delay their decisions about whether to abort because of lack of control over their own lives or inadequate funds."

Associated Press: The verdict from both sides of the abortion debate? The Supreme Court's decision will encourage antiabortion activists to campaign for further restrictions on the state level. "The time is now right to launch aggressive legal challenges across America to abortion on demand," said Troy Newman, president of antiabortion group Operation Rescue. "The court has now said it's OK to ban procedures. We can do more than just put hurdles in front of women seeking abortions -- we can put roadblocks in front of them."

Feministing: Vanessa responds in the blog's succinct style: "We're fucked."

Tapped: Scott Lemieux writes, "Upholding ludicrously arbitrary legislation that puts women's health at risk without furthering any legitimate state interest, while signaling that the 'undue burden' standard will be interpreted to uphold virtually any abortion regulation short of a ban, sets an extremely dangerous precedent."

Bitch Ph.D.: In a post headlined "Supreme Court Declares Women Less Intelligent Than Legislators," Bitch Ph.D. writes, "Ladies, we're officially second-class citizens. This according to the Supreme Court, which today found that it's constitutional for lawmakers (aka white men) to decide what kind of medical care we need."

Planned Parenthood: "This ruling flies in the face of 30 years of Supreme Court precedent and the best interest of women's health and safety," said Planned Parenthood deputy director of litigation and law Eve Gartner. "Today the court took away an important option for doctors who seek to provide the best and safest care to their patients. This ruling tells women that politicians, not doctors, will make their health care decisions for them."

Echinde of the Snakes: "It was five middle-aged and old men who decided to do this, men, who will never have an abortion themselves, just to remind you all, and all these men were elevated to the court by conservatives," she writes. "Elections have consequences."

NARAL Pro-Choice America: "The Court has disregarded the medical opinion of leading doctors who oppose the ban," said NARAL president Nancy Keenan. "The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists -- which represents 90 percent of the OB GYNs in this country -- says the ban is harmful to women's health and interferes with medical decision making."

More Associated Press: Republican presidential candidates were out in force today voicing their support of the Supreme Court's decision. Sen. John McCain said, "It is critically important that our party continues to stand on the side of life."

USA Today: Thankfully, the Dems were out in full force, too. "The ban upheld by the Court is an ill-considered and sweeping prohibition that does not even take account for serious threats to the health of individual women," said presidential hopeful John Edwards. "This hard-right turn is a stark reminder of why Democrats cannot afford to lose the 2008 election."

By Tracy Clark-Flory

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