Banning all abortion...

This post is from Amie Newman, Communications Manager for Aradia Women’s Health Center in Seattle, Washington.

You probably remember the photo [left] of the smiling white male legislators standing on a platform in front of the American flag surrounding a smug President Bush as he blithely signed away the reproductive rights of women in this country. It was the signing of the Federal Abortion Ban in 2003, fabricated by forced-birth strategists as the "Partial-Birth Abortion Ban."

Back then I thought that photo was a public relations disaster. At the very least Bush should have thrown a woman in there for show to at least pretend that he and his administration cared one iota for the lives of our female citizens. Ahhh, but, it was exactly the way it should be: President Bush and his cronies didn't care -- they felt secure in the moral certainty of their actions and wanted us all to know it.

The abortion ban that President Bush signed into law in 2003 was crafted by forced-birth activists and sponsored by forced-birth legislators to draw attention to a procedure of their own creation. Now, there is no such thing as a "partial-birth abortion"; It's neither a medical term nor a medical procedure. It's also linguistically senseless since a woman is either giving birth OR having an abortion. What the forced-birthers were using as their springboard to attempt to ban all abortions after 13 weeks was a procedure called Dilation & Extraction (D&X).

Over the past couple of weeks the ban has reared its ugly head once again. I cannot take it as coincidence that just as Justice Alito reported for his first day of work on Tuesday, the Supreme Court agreed to review Gonzales v. Carhart, the case in which the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit struck down the Federal Abortion Ban of 2003.

The appellate court held that the act was unconstitutional under the Supreme Court's ruling in Stenberg v. Carhart (2000), in which the Court struck down a Nebraska statute similar to the federal law, holding that it was unconstitutional because it did not contain a health exception for women. In other words, the law did not allow for a woman and her physician to make a decision about the woman's life if it was in danger, mandating instead that her body be legislated by the highest court of the land.

In addition, the law is worded in such a way that it would allow for bans on all abortions after the first trimester with no exceptions. According to the National Abortion Federation which brought a case to the Supreme Court in 2003 attempting to appeal the law:
"What many people do not realize is that the ban does not allow women to have an abortion after the first trimester. Unfortunately many birth defects cannot be detected until well into the second trimester, and often times women choose to have an abortion after their 18-20 week ultrasound, if a birth defect is found."
40 states as well as the District of Columbia already ban abortion in the third trimester except when the life or health of the woman is at stake. Abortion is not legal past viability except when the life or health of the mother is in danger. What the forced-birth strategists have successfully done with this piece of legislation is reframe the "story" to focus on how repulsive a dilation & extraction procedure is and then repeat the story of this procedure in gory detail endlessly.

The entire law is based on a fabricated concept designed to essentially disgust the public into outlawing abortion.

Even Justices Ginsberg and Stevens, when the case came before the Supreme Court in 2000, remarked
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