Abortion By The Numbers
The main problem with the decision is that it legitimized an absolutely atrocious mindset, one held by an absolute miniscule percentage of women the court claimed it was protecting from themselves
The court said that since some women who have late-term abortions might feel bad about that decision psychologically somewhere down the far-off road, then that possibility was of future mental anguish was enough to ban the safest way to perform the "never-done-for-convenience" late term abortions
And using the numbers from the anti-choicers side, one sees just how weak that "protecting women from themselves" argument really is
bypass registration with this Bug Me Not link
Abortion Foes See Validation for New Tactic
For many years, the political struggle over abortion was often framed as a starkly binary choice: the interest of the woman, advocated by supporters of abortion rights, versus the interest of the fetus, advocated by opponents of abortion.
But last month’s Supreme Court decision upholding the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act marked a milestone for a different argument advanced by anti-abortion leaders, one they are increasingly making in state legislatures around the country. They say that abortion, as a rule, is not in the best interest of the woman; that women are often misled or ill-informed about its risks to their own physical or emotional health; and that the interests of the pregnant woman and the fetus are, in fact, the same.
The majority opinion in the court’s 5-to-4 decision explicitly acknowledged this argument, galvanizing anti-abortion forces and setting the stage for an intensifying battle over new abortion restrictions in the states.Here's the gruesome imagery the anti-choice crowd always pushes regarding the "never-done-for-convenience" late term abortions, because it's the supposed victims of this type of abortion that the anti-choice crowd will use to justify an outright ban on all abortions for all reasons, including if the life of the mother is at stake
The case before the Supreme Court involved a specific type of abortion, occasionally used after the first trimester, that involves removing a fetus intact after collapsing its skull. Justice Kennedy upheld that ban on narrower, legal grounds, but he used the Justice Foundation brief to write more broadly about the emotional impact of abortion on women.
“While we find no reliable data to measure the phenomenon, it seems unexceptionable to conclude some women come to regret their choice to abort the infant life they once created and sustained,” Justice Kennedy wrote, alluding to the brief. “Severe depression and loss of esteem can follow.”
Given those stakes, the justice argued, “The state has an interest in ensuring so grave a choice is well informed.”Really, well, from what I can gather, in many cases, an abortion is actually a SAFER choice for women than carrying a pregnancy to term would be, but I suppose those women don't do the anti-choicers any good politically or socially
Unfortunately, neither do the real numbers bear out the Court's rather overbearing and ultra-obnoxious patriarchal concerns
All sides agree that the debate reached a new level of significance when Justice Anthony M. Kennedy, writing the majority opinion in the Supreme Court case last month, approvingly cited a friend-of-the court brief filed by the Justice Foundation.
The foundation, a nonprofit public interest litigation firm that has handled an array of conservative causes, has increasingly focused on abortion through its project called Operation Outcry. Mr. Parker said the group began hearing from women in the late 1990s who considered themselves victims of legalized abortion — physically and emotionally — and wanted to tell their stories. Operation Outcry, which grew to include a Web site, a national hot line and chapters around the country, eventually collected statements from more than 2,000 women, officials said.
In its friend-of-the-court brief, the group submitted statements from 180 of those women who said that abortion had left them depressed, distraught, in emotional turmoil. “Thirty-three years of real life experiences,” the foundation said, “attests that abortion hurts women and endangers their physical, emotional and psychological health.”So, the foundation claims that it "eventually collected statements from more than 2,000 women" and from that pool of over 2000 women compiled from "33 years of real life experience" mental & emotional anguish resulted a grand total of "180 of those women who said that abortion had left them depressed, distraught, in emotional turmoil."
Now, lets take a look at total abortions performed since the Roe VS Wade decision in 1973, and according to 2005 figures
What is the total number of legal abortions since 1973?
As of the most recent update of this FAQ, the estimated total number of abortions is over 46 million.
180 VS 46,000,000, seems like there'd be more complaints that could be cited by the Friends of the Court Kennedy relied on so illogically
Again, I'm conflating the numbers with the purpose of those making the claim of future psychological harm for women who have had abortions, late term in this case, but an argument the anti-choice crowd will try to conflate to abortion in general
But lets look at the numbers for "never-done-for-convenience" late term abortions
How is a partial birth abortion (D & X) performed?
The D & X abortion is used in late second and third trimesters (24-36 weeks).
And those numbers, from 2001, based on approx 1.3 million abortions yearly
How many abortions are performed at each stage of pregnancy?
Remember, from this site a "late term abortion" is one that takes place after 24-36 weeks, but even going by the most conservative estimate, that one dealing with abortions after 21 weeks, that's 19,500 Late Term abortions, vs 180 complaints of mental & emotional anguish compiled from over 33 years of taking such complaints
To recap, the Supreme Court decided that the harm that occured to 180 women outweighed the real-world physical trauma that over 19,000 women-and that's an OLD figure, from 2001-would have endured if they couldn't have ended their doomed pregnancies in the most medically safe and effective way possible for the women unlucky enough to have to make this choice
46,000,000 VS 180 filed briefs/complaints
19,000 LTA's in one year VS 180 complaints of mental/emotional anguish compiled over 33 years
The numbers suggest the Court's concern is less legal-driven than an example of utterly condescending wish fulfillment on the part of the Supreme Court justices who fancy themselves as Chivalrous in trying to protect women from themselves
One other note from the article is worth mentioning, an example to never take past Supreme Court success as settled law for granted in the future
The abortion-rights side was caught off guard, in part because its strategists believe the scientific debate has been so decisively settled against the Justice Foundation’s argument over the years. “We thought that brief was so extraneous that we didn’t even bother coming up with a response to it,” said Mr. Evans of Planned Parenthood.
This is the absolute perfect definition of complacency and smugness, and it would be worth mocking if the results for women who have to go through this wrenching decision weren't so appalling already, namely, not being able to end a doomed pregnancy in the safest, most effective way possible
And unless the right to abortion, including an explicit statement that says the health & life of the mother takes precedence at every stage of the pregnancy, is enshrined in the Constitution, then the rights of women will be only suggestions or guidelines depending on where in the US they're at
As a guy, I'm obviously not affected by the abortion debate, but as a citizen, I'm appalled that sheer emotion alone can result in the loss of personal hegemony, and if it can happen to women in the case of late-term abortion, it can happen to anyone else as well, for whatever reason involving otherwise personal autonomy
Don't want an abortion?
Then don't have one
Pretty simple, cut & dried, end of story
Labels: Loudly Pro-Choice