By a 5-4 decision, the Supreme Court has just endangered women's health.
According to Justice Anthony M. Kennedy, who wrote the majority opinion, the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act of 2003 "expresses respect for the dignity of human life" by forbidding second-trimester removal of the fetus in an intact condition while allowing it to be dismembered inside the uterus and removed piece by piece.
Whether or not this latest decision should be known as the dignity of dismemberment ruling, it must be obvious to anyone that that dismemberment of a fetus inside a woman's uterus is far more likely to endanger her health than intact removal of that fetus. But under the new ruling, any woman or doctor who believes that intact removal is medically necessary to preserve her health--as leading experts in obstetrics and gynecology have repeatedly testified--will have to challenge the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban in court.
Good luck, ladies. But Justice Kennedy wants you to know that the law really aims to protect you from yourselves--by keeping you from doing something you might later regret. And isn't it better that you risk your health now rather than face the pain of regret later? Aren't you glad to know how well the Court is looking after you?
Just in case you're not, here's a suggestion. Let's pass a federal law that guarantees a woman's right to ANY medical procedure that may be necessary for the preservation of her health. Let's call it the Woman's Right to Health Law. And let's make this a major issue in the coming campaigns.