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Wag the Blog: Readers' Thoughts on Abortion Ruling

Wow. The Fix community sounded off in a major way -- 320 comments and counting -- on today's Wag the Blog question regarding the political implication's of the Supreme Court's ruling on the partial-birth abortion ban

I've selected some of the more thoughtful and though-provoking comments of the day and excerpted them below:

* "The court's decision is about much more than 'just' women's abortion rights--it speaks to the role of the state in individual medical treatment, and the politicization of the supreme court. How can supposed conservatives applaud the intervention of the courts and the congress in such personal health choices?"
-- Posted by: windserf

"The vast majority of the public supports banning partial-birth abortion and so does the majority of Dem voters. All the polls show it. If liberals try to use this as a rallying cry, the GOP will turn the issue back on them with ads describing the procedure which will turn voters away from the Dem Party in droves!" --Posted by: Majority Supports Ban

* "This will become a very meaningful issue for female candidates, especially Sen. Clinton, who can speak on it from the dual vantage points: statesmanship, and gender identification. In a curious way, the decision of the Bush court, in coming to this closely contested decision, may have hastened the victory of Democrats in 2008 by energizing the outrage of the majority of persons in this country who believe issues like abortion are personal matters." --Posted by: burt

* "I am a fiercely pro-choice liberal.....The law is a good start toward preserving abortion rights. By eliminating the most gruesome of procedures, I believe the voices of those who dogmatically oppose the woman's right to govern her own body are diminished.....So, the law is a good start, but it is not complete. Democrats should work toward reforming this law, not opposing it. Then we should use the opportunity to draw out the hypocrisy of a party that supports war, turns it's back on genocide, and neglects it's soldiers and countrymen." --Posted by: Everitt Chase

* "I think Democrats seizing on this do run a fairly serious risk of alienating pro-life democrats and independents, but it is legitimate for the media to cover this as an indication of the direction that the court has moved in. Some Democratic strategists surely view this as a trump card to rally up the base, but there is a legitimate concern about the future of Roe that is by no means hysterical or paranoid." --Posted by: Kevin Steimel

* "It would be a gamble for the Democratic party to try to parlay the Court's decision into a reminder that they oppose your right not to have been aborted. Most of the participants here seem to identify with the aborting and fail to consider how many voters identify with the aborted fetus. About fifteen years ago I crossed into the latter camp, where I found many who had already made the same journey. Before pro-lifers will relent, you will have to convince us that our respect for the unborn is misguided. If you only tell us to shut up and keep our convictions to ourselves, you're telling us to tolerate a grave injustice. Convince us that it's not a grave injustice, not that we should stop trying to correct it." --Posted by Nick Frankovich

Thanks to everyone who weighed in today.

By Chris Cillizza  |  April 19, 2007; 10:31 PM ET
Categories:  Wag The Blog  
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Rights are inconvenient to those playing God.

Posted by: Reece Conrad | April 22, 2007 3:27 PM | Report abuse

To the abortion prohibitionist: It's not that your respect for a fetus is misguided, the problem is your disrespect for the woman that the fetus is a part of. Abortion may be a grave injustice to the fetus, but a woman's body is not community property, sorry. There's so many ways to reduce the number of abortions, many of which the rightwing 'pro-lifers' oppose, without impinging on a woman's sovereignty over her own body. Sovereignty over your own body isn't just for males.

Posted by: newageblues | April 22, 2007 10:30 AM | Report abuse

slt: I found the decision and have read most of it, and not being a lawyer, appears to go against the ob/gyn Dr.'s as far as safety is concerned and the fetus,no matter the condition, takes priority over the well being of the mother.

Posted by: lylepink | April 21, 2007 8:52 AM | Report abuse

abortion is wrong, but it happens anyways.the government has no business changing roe/wade, the holy rollers with tbig casg to give to the gop wants to make law's for the's not their place to do so, i do feel it's very wrong for late term abortions, and i di feel its the right of the female( if raped or in medical danger) to carry out an abortion, those having abortions because they got pregnant and dont want a baby to mess uptheir lives should be made unable to ever get pregnante again, its probably time to start sterilizing people at birth

Posted by: william lee henry | April 20, 2007 2:55 PM | Report abuse

I think the matter of late term abortion is going to take on a lot more visibility as our not-so-well cared for veterans return from the depleted uranium-soaked countries of Iraq and Afghanistan and become pregnant with babies who may be terribly deformed. Often, these deformities aren't diagnosed until several weeks into the pregnancy. Will they be able to opt for abortion, and if not, who will take care of these children since the Republicans seem intent upon eliminating most social service programs?

Posted by: sunnyday | April 20, 2007 1:40 PM | Report abuse

I am a pro-choice liberal. The mother has the right to decide on her course of action. The courts should not impede on the rights of women to decide.

Posted by: Angela | April 20, 2007 12:34 PM | Report abuse

I agree with the anonymous poster. And FWIW I am also a medical professional with a doctoral degree.

Posted by: proudtobeGOP | April 20, 2007 12:10 PM | Report abuse

Uh excuse me Chris, but I had all of the top five of the "more thoughtful and though-provoking comments of the day on this topic".

Boy, you're slipping at a time when you can't afford to with the '08 election upon us. Now take the weekend off, clear your head, apologize to me and start fresh on Monday.

Posted by: Chris is Remiss | April 20, 2007 12:06 PM | Report abuse

Doc time to get off that moral high horse. If there is a buck to be made doing this procedure, somebody will do it.

There's some doctor somewhere doing it because the mother says she doesn't want the kid.

That doctor either rationalizes it in his own mind, or simply doesn't give a damn. He does it and gets paid.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 20, 2007 11:41 AM | Report abuse

proud to be gop -

in re "Bart, with all due respect, birth always poses a danger to the mother."

Sir, I am an obstetrician. What is your medical background? Yes, birth is a traumatic event by definition... but there are degrees of trauma. There are normal births, which represent foreseeable and manageable risk, and there are those which, due to the placement of the fetus, results of testing, pH, and a number of other factors, we know will represent a critical, even life-threatening situation for the mother. Please do not attempt to tell a board-certified physician what does and what does not pose a potential risk to the health of the mother - I have noticed a tendency among conservatives to assume expertise in areas with which they are unfamimliar, and I believe this Supreme Court decision to be only the latest example of that.

Dr. Gigaldi

Posted by: Bart Gigaldi, M.D. | April 20, 2007 11:23 AM | Report abuse

in re "(was) almost never used as birth control, but rather only when it became apparent that ...the birth would pose a danger to the mother. "

Bart, with all due respect, birth always poses a danger to the mother. Herein lies the gray area that the SC decision sought to remove with this ruling.

Posted by: proudtobeGOP | April 20, 2007 11:09 AM | Report abuse

I would like to reiterate, however, that too many Catholics and too many wops on the Supreme Court is obviously a bad thing.

Posted by: candide | April 20, 2007 10:25 AM | Report abuse

That is why I have decided to ignore all social issues: it is the chosen battlefield of hypocrites.

Posted by: candide | April 20, 2007 10:24 AM | Report abuse

Likewise the pro-choice crowd is so ideologically committed to abortion that it can be counted on to lie.

Posted by: candide | April 20, 2007 10:23 AM | Report abuse

We will never learn if these partial-birth or late birth abortions are really justifiable because the pro-life crowd is so full of religious hypocrisy that it will never tell the truth.

Posted by: candide | April 20, 2007 10:22 AM | Report abuse

Hey SnottyNoseBrat - This procedure is (was) almost never used as birth control, but rather only when it became apparent that either the fetus had serious serious problems, or that the birth would pose a danger to the mother. It is not that the pregnancy is "inconvenient," but rather that it is dangerous. and btw, these are conditions / situations that are often not apparent at an earlier stage of pregnancy. The Supreme Court, in politicizing medicine, has taken yet another step back from the Enlightenment to the Dark Ages. (on an unrelated note, we are also seeing the return of the Crusadesm i.e. Bush and the whole Middle East. The more things change...)

Posted by: Bart Gigaldi, M.D. | April 20, 2007 10:16 AM | Report abuse

slt: Thanks for the info, it is what I have been searching for, and yet it does not answer the question I have after reading the article by Linda Greenhouse in the NY Times and others. Justice Kennedy seems to be saying, in the majority opinion, a fetus that has little chance of living is more important that the health of the mother in being able to bear children in the future and even the life of the mother is questionable. The statement of Justice Ginsberg from the bench makes a lot more sense to me. For the record, I oppose abortion except in cases where the life and health of the mother are at risk.

Posted by: lylepink | April 20, 2007 10:05 AM | Report abuse

The horrific procedure at first made me think that this is just SO wrong. But, just this morning I have to ask myself - Why am I not bothered by early procedures -using a tube to suck out a very small and unviable being, and why I find this procedure unspeakably vile - partially birthing a baby (hence the name of the procedure) and crushing it's skull and sucking it's brain out in order to kill it, THEN completing the birth.

Initially I thought REALLY! - if a women doesn't want the baby she has ample opportunity to rid herself before a fetus develops into a viable being.

This procedure is just so NAZI human engineering. No sane person could support this. If it is so acceptable to dispatch a human in this way - what's wrong with the Virginia Tech killer doing what he did? He found those people inconvient. We either respect life or make ridiculous justifications for taking life. The procedure cannot be supported by anyone that respects life. You cannot justify this.

Posted by: SnottyNozeBratt | April 20, 2007 9:54 AM | Report abuse


I do not know if your post is to repudiate Kenndy's decision saying his writings do not measure up to your superior logic (I find little mastery of logic on this blog) or if you actually do not understand his decision. In any event if you want to find a good analysis of the decision, I suggest you go you the New Hour web site. I think they did a fair and balance report of the decisions.

Posted by: slt | April 20, 2007 9:19 AM | Report abuse

US Defence Secretary Robert Gates held talks with his top generals and Iraqi leaders in Baghdad on Friday amid new signs that American patience with its Iraqi allies is wearing thin.

The secretary's third visit to Iraq came on a week that saw the bloodiest Al-Qaeda car bomb attack yet, killing 140 civilians as part of a wave of insurgent violence designed to thwart a joint US and Iraqi security plan.

Before his arrival in Iraq on Thursday, Gates warned Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki's government that US support was "not an open-ended commitment" and on Friday he was expected to urge faster work on political reconciliation.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 20, 2007 8:31 AM | Report abuse

If Dems successfully portray what the Supreme Court did as a slippery slope, a first step in an assault on the reproductive rights of women, the GOP is in trouble. If however, the GOP keeps the public's focus on the procecure itself, the Dems are hurt.

Posted by: Intrepid Liberal Journal | April 20, 2007 6:24 AM | Report abuse

I have tried to get someone to state an opinion on the reasoning of Justice Kennedy, and not one as yet. Maybe it is because folks cannot understand, as I can't. I have searched all the WaPo blogs that I know of and other opinion blogs from both right and left leaning, and still cannot find anything that even resembles logic. What am I missing??

Posted by: lylepink | April 20, 2007 5:30 AM | Report abuse

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