May 22, 2007
The redrawn lines of the abortion debate.
A bumper sticker on my car, which posted next to several others gives anyone driving behind me ample reason to keep their eyes off the road (and once got me out of ticket), repeats those words above: Pro-Woman, Pro-Life. It's from the group Feminists for Life, which was the focus of attention during Justice John Roberts's confirmation hearings because his wife had been affiliated with the group.
It seems the group's strategy, opposing abortion by focusing on the needs of women, is gaining a wider audience. The New York Times reports,
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.
Justice Kennedy mentioned the view that women's health is endagered by abortion in his argument supporting the partial-birth abortion ban. "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."
"Many, on both sides, viewed that as an invitation from a newly conservative court to pass tough new counseling and informed-consent laws intended for women seeking abortions," writes The Times. It seems that the next battle over a woman's "right to choose" will be her right to hear or refuse to hear the possible ill effects of an abortion.