Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Federal Abortion Ban

A few weeks ago, the Supreme Court, reconfigured by President Bush, decided that politicians - not women and their doctors - know what's best for women.

The Court's ruling to uphold the Bush Federal Abortion Ban is a setback for all Americans who support Roe v. Wade!

If you agree that women and their doctors should be trusted to make personal, private, medical decisions without political interference, then please stand with me and fight back.

Ask your members of Congress to cosponsor the Freedom of Choice Act.

The Freedom of Choice Act is the most powerful tool we have to reverse the attack on choice by President Bush's appointees to the Supreme Court. The Act will guarantee in federal law the rights established by Roe v. Wade for every woman in our country.

When the Supreme Court upheld Bush's ban, it gave a green light to the anti-choice movement's plan to unleash even more attacks on safe, legal abortion, with no regard for a woman's health.

As Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg said in her dissent, the Court's decision "cannot be understood as anything other than an effort to chip away at a right declared again and again by this Court."

Here's what you should know about this ruling:
  • The decision effectively reverses Supreme Court precedent and rolls back key protections that have been guaranteed since Roe v. Wade.

  • A doctor will face criminal penalties of up to two years in prison, even if he or she was acting to protect a woman's health.
Don't let this latest attack on women's fundamental freedom go unanswered! Tell your members of Congress to cosponsor the Freedom of Choice Act today.

Several newspapers recently published opinion pieces responding to the Supreme Court's 5-4 ruling last month to reinstate a federal law banning so-called "partial-birth" abortion, overturning the rulings of three appeals courts. Chief Justice John Roberts and Justices Samuel Alito, Clarence Thomas and Antonin Scalia joined Justice Anthony Kennedy in the majority opinion and Justices Stephen Breyer, John Paul Stevens and David Souter joined Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg in the dissent.

President Bush signed the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act (S 3) into law in November 2003. Several groups filed lawsuits alleging that the law is unconstitutional because of the absence of an exception for procedures preformed to protect the health of the pregnant woman. In place of a health exception, the law includes a long "findings" section with medical evidence presented during congressional hearings that, according to supporters of the law, indicates the procedures banned by the law are never medically necessary.

The law says a physician who performs the banned procedures could face criminal prosecution, fines and up to two years in jail. The law allows an exception for cases in which the life of the woman is in danger, but it does not permit doctors to use the procedure because they believe using another method would increase risks to the woman's health (Kaiser Daily Women's Health Policy Report, 4/19).

I am of the opinion that the government should not ever be in a position to make medical decisions when it comes to personal health matters, no matter what the nature. When Roe v. Wade comes under fire, more than a woman's rights are at stake. Every time a challenge like this is made, it leads to more challenges of our freedoms.

You can agree or disagree, I don't care.

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