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A look 35 years after Roe vs. Wade (Page 1)

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POSTED ON JANUARY 16, 2008:

Illegal Abortions Return

Women's reproductive rights are losing ground

Women have fewer reproductive rights now than when the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in Roe. v. Wade that banning abortions is unconstitutional under the due process clause of the 14th Amendment.
The court decided in 1973 that the procedure is legal because the government must respect all of a person's legal rights with regard to her life, liberty or property. However, that view -- that women have the right to make medical decisions about their health -- has been eroded by state and federal laws and more recent Supreme Court rulings, according to Jennifer Branch, a local attorney and reproductive rights advocate.

"Abortion's still legal, and most women have access to an abortion, but look at all the hoops they have to jump through," she says. "The criminalization of abortion is one of the big changes. This is the only surgical procedure in Ohio that is criminalized. In other words, a doctor will go to prison and lose her medical license if she doesn't follow these rules -- and there are a lot of them."

Ohio law assumes women are either too stupid or emotionally distraught to make their own decisions regarding pregnancy. One law requires a doctor to give his patient two booklets of information prepared by the state: One is about the development of a fetus, including illustrations, and the other is a list of options other than abortion available to women.

A more recent requirement is that a woman must visit a doctor to obtain "informed consent" 24 hours in advance of the procedure. Only then are women allowed to get a legally performed abortion.

"That is a new step in the last couple of years in Ohio and that is a huge obstacle for abused women," Branch says. "It's hard enough to get away once to go to the clinic. Now you've got to get away twice."

The stigma of shame and cruelty that has been systematically used to vilify those seeking and performing abortions hasn't been limited to adult legislation. Minors who wish to get an abortion must now have parental permission.

That doesn't seem like a big deal: Minors can't do a lot of things unless mom or dad says it's OK. But this law has already been proven to have deadly consequences because illegal abortions are being used to avoid getting this permission.

"The last woman who had any publicity was the minor in Indiana who didn't want to let her parents know -- and she had an illegal abortion and she died," Branch says. "It's been a long time and so people aren't educated by the reality of what happens when abortion becomes illegal."

That girl was 17-year-old Becky Bell who, even on her deathbed, was too embarrassed to tell her parents what happened.

Thanks to a new federal law banning what is commonly referred to as a "partial birth abortion," we're that much closer to more illegal procedures, according to Branch.

"The Supreme Court held in April of '07 that the federal ban on that procedure is constitutional," she says. "That was a huge decision because the federal law does not allow an exception for the health of the woman. I'm sure the anti-abortion advocates are still jumping up and down about that decision because that clears the way for more winnowing away of reproductive rights because we no longer need to worry about the health exception for the woman.

"So what if a medical procedure would be so much safer for her? We don't care, we want to ban it for political reasons -- not for medical reasons, political reasons."

The medical procedure the law bans is actually called an "intact D&E." But calling it "partial birth abortion" politicizes the issue and opens the door for banning other procedures deemed unacceptable, Branch says.

"When (I) ... have some sort of medical problem, I turn to my doctor and ask a bunch of questions," she says. "What are my choices? What are the pros and cons? That is my right to talk to my doctor about my medical issue, and I decide which medical procedure I want. That should be true regardless of what the medical procedure is, whether that's breast cancer or pregnancy."

Is there a real threat to the end of legal abortions in our lifetime?

"Absolutely," Branch says. "This is a political fight. This is not about medicine. It's not about women being able to choose for themselves about what medical procedure to have. This is about politics."

In her lone dissent, Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg delivered a scathing criticism to her peers on this point.

"The term partial-birth abortion' is neither recognized in the medical literature nor used by physicians who perform second-trimester abortions," she wrote. "Throughout, the opinion refers to obstetrician-gynecologists and surgeons who perform abortions not by the titles of their medical specialties but by the pejorative label abortion doctor.' ... A fetus is described as an unborn child' and as a baby.' "

Ginsburg then points out how lawyers are second-guessing judgments by medical professionals as further evidence that the decision is founded more on opinion than fact.

"Today's decision is alarming," she wrote. "It tolerates, indeed applauds, federal intervention to ban nationwide a procedure found necessary and proper in certain cases by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. The reasoned medical judgments of highly trained doctors are dismissed as preferences' motivated by mere convenience.' "

Branch says she's reluctant to say Roe is on "life support," but her prognosis isn't good.

"There's a lot more coming along in terms of chipping away at Roe v. Wade," she says.

http://citybeat.com/gyrobase/Content?oid=o id%3A143596
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replied January 22nd, 2008
Especially eHealthy
Sad That's terrible... I'm glad this president is leaving.
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replied January 22nd, 2008
Extremely eHealthy
I like to hear about 1973. That's the year I was born. Gosh I'm going to be 35!
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replied January 23rd, 2008
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363 more days.......
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replied January 24th, 2008
Active User, very eHealthy
Re: A look 35 years after Roe vs. Wade
Birch wrote:

That girl was 17-year-old Becky Bell who, even on her deathbed, was too embarrassed to tell her parents what happened.

Just google the phrase "Becky Bell pneumonia" and you will get several sites that say that she had a miscarriage and died of pneumonia, not an abortion. examples:

http://www.gargaro.com/beckybell.html

http://realchoice.0catch.com/library/weekl y/aa020500b.htm
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replied January 24th, 2008
Especially eHealthy
Realchoice.0catch.com is a pro-life site; thus, of course they're going to scrounge for any evidence to discount Becky's death. That is not a valid source.

Gargaro.com is also a pro-life site, so for the same reasons, it is not a valid source.

Go find a neutral, non-pro-anything site to prove that Becky died of pneumonia.
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replied January 24th, 2008
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Eiri wrote:

Go find a neutral, non-pro-anything site to prove that Becky died of pneumonia.

Why? The sites which claim that an illegal abortion was the COD are most certainly prochoice...... so what?
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replied January 24th, 2008
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What was her official cause of death? What was written on her death certificate?
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replied January 24th, 2008
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Eiri wrote:
What was her official cause of death? What was written on her death certificate?

Are all death certificates absolutely accurate?
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replied January 24th, 2008
Experienced User
For the lover of dictionary definitions ... Webster's Scholastic Dictionary...Abort 1. To miscarry in givng birth. Abortion n. A miscarriage.

Another example of what happens when legal safe abortion is made inaccesable to women:

Mcallen Texas, Rosaura (Rosie) Jimenez, 27, single mother of a five year old died from septicemia from a illegal abortion obtained in Mexico. Rosie and her five year old relied on medicaid to recieve medical services. She sought a illegal abortion after finding out medicaid would not pay for her abortion. Rosie Jimenez is known as the first victim of the Hyde admendment that bans the use of medicaid for abortions of most low income women.
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replied January 24th, 2008
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sistersister wrote:

For the lover of dictionary definitions ... Webster's Scholastic Dictionary...Abort 1. To miscarry in givng birth. Abortion n. A miscarriage.

And your point would be.......??

sistersister wrote:

Mcallen Texas, Rosaura (Rosie) Jimenez, 27, single mother of a five year old died from septicemia from a illegal abortion obtained in Mexico.

I've never denied that abortions, both legal and illegal, do sometimes kill women. But it's always true that those abortions were done by prochoicers, never by a prolifer. So basically what you're saying is that if we make abortion illegal, then you prochoicers will kill more women.
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replied January 24th, 2008
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Dogganit, Yoda. Not surprised by that lovely tactic. Keep on with this, it helps the prochoice advocates.

Eiri didn't say that the death certificate is one hundred percent accurate, just wanted to know what was written on the death certificate. Incidentally, her parents have become anti parental consent law advocates. Maybe you can ask them why they decided to do something like that. *shrugs*

This whole Becky Bell nitpick is a distraction from the issue at hand.

It is obvious that as more restrictions can be applied to X, it will be difficult to obtain X.
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replied January 24th, 2008
Experienced User
Rosaura died October 3, 1978.
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replied January 24th, 2008
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Birch wrote:

It is obvious that as more restrictions can be applied to X, it will be difficult to obtain X.

Quite true. Just as it is more difficult to hire someone to kill someone else, because there are restrictions on that imposed by criminal laws.
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replied January 24th, 2008
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Birch wrote:
Dogganit, Yoda. Not surprised by that lovely tactic. Keep on with this, it helps the prochoice advocates.

Eiri didn't say that the death certificate is one hundred percent accurate, just wanted to know what was written on the death certificate. Incidentally, her parents have become anti parental consent law advocates. Maybe you can ask them why they decided to do something like that. *shrugs*

This whole Becky Bell nitpick is a distraction from the issue at hand.

It is obvious that as more restrictions can be applied to X, it will be difficult to obtain X.


Add: This is a political fight. This is not about medicine. It's not about women being able to choose for themselves about what medical procedure to have. This is about politics."
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replied January 24th, 2008
Especially eHealthy
I have decided that not only is Yoda unwilling to present his own opinions (I have no idea if he's incapable of forming them, but if he is, he choses not to share them), he is unwilling to answer almost all questions presented to him, and he will obfuscate and dance and throw an entire thread off topic just to evade stating his opinions and answering questions. He doesn't debate. He squabbles.
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replied January 25th, 2008
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Back to that question of real, up to date and accurate information yoda.. which I note you once again lack.
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replied January 26th, 2008
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sistersister wrote:
For the lover of dictionary definitions ... Webster's Scholastic Dictionary...Abort 1. To miscarry in givng birth. Abortion n. A miscarriage.

Another example of what happens when legal safe abortion is made inaccesable to women:

Mcallen Texas, Rosaura (Rosie) Jimenez, 27, single mother of a five year old died from septicemia from a illegal abortion obtained in Mexico. Rosie and her five year old relied on medicaid to recieve medical services. She sought a illegal abortion after finding out medicaid would not pay for her abortion. Rosie Jimenez is known as the first victim of the Hyde admendment that bans the use of medicaid for abortions of most low income women.


this is what happens when somebody decides to kill someone.
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replied January 26th, 2008
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There is a group of people in COlorado trying to get enough support together so they can pass an amendment proclaiming that at conception the zygote is a person. This dangerous legislation has the possible ramifications of making birth control illegal, Plan B illegal, and could even seek to prosecute women if they engaged in behavior thought to be risky and ended up having a miscarriage. IT's pretty frightening.
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replied January 26th, 2008
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nightangel73 wrote:
sistersister wrote:
For the lover of dictionary definitions ... Webster's Scholastic Dictionary...Abort 1. To miscarry in givng birth. Abortion n. A miscarriage.

Another example of what happens when legal safe abortion is made inaccesable to women:

Mcallen Texas, Rosaura (Rosie) Jimenez, 27, single mother of a five year old died from septicemia from a illegal abortion obtained in Mexico. Rosie and her five year old relied on medicaid to recieve medical services. She sought a illegal abortion after finding out medicaid would not pay for her abortion. Rosie Jimenez is known as the first victim of the Hyde admendment that bans the use of medicaid for abortions of most low income women.


this is what happens when somebody decides to kill someone.


So are you really saying she deserved to die? And her five year old deeserved to be an orphan? I hope not, 'cause that's really sad.
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