Has the Abortion Lobby Nudged America Past Row V. Wade?

Roe V. WadeHave you noticed how the abortion industry justifies their lobbying as guaranteeing a woman’s access to abortion as promised in Roe v. Wade?

Have you ever read Roe v. Wade? No. Me either.

After watching the live feed of Wendy’s futile filibuster I was curious enough to track down Roe v. Wade and read through it. Honestly I was surprised by what I found.

It is no secret that I am old enough to remember the time when all abortions were illegal. I came of age in Chicago in the late 60’s and early 70’s. It is a pretty safe bet that I marched or protested just about every major issue of the day. I supported legalized abortion, because I knew women who had survived, barely, illegal ones. I remember meeting friends over drinks to celebrate the decision. I was relieved that women would have access to a safe way to terminate a pregnancy. I always thought of abortion as a last choice. I was a big supporter of health education and access to birth control. I guess I’m a libertarian at heart. I’m a big fan of the, “I won’t get in your business, if you stay out of mine”, philosophy.

You know from my previous blogs, that I was not impressed with the futile filibuster either in its substance or the drama around it. I was fascinated by how Team Wendy chose to fight the bill — not by negotiating a reasonable compromise, but having Wendy run out the clock by reading inspiring abortion stories.

Wendy’s statement, “The real aim of this bill is not to make women safer, but to force the closure of multiple facilities across the state of Texas, without a single care or concern for the women whose lives will be impacted by thatWEndy Reads Abortion Stories decision. Not a single care or concern.” seemed like such a disconnect. It was like Team Wendy really didn’t get how legislatures throughout the country, not just in Texas, were reacting to the harsh condemnation of Gosnell Grand Jury Report by providing the regulatory oversight that was missing in Pennsylvania.

It is difficult to parse out what Wendy and the Dem’s really wanted, aside from unrestricted abortion in unregulated, and possible unsafe abortion facilities.

What, exactly, was Wendy protesting against?

In short, the Texas legislature was following the recommendations in the Gossnell Grand Jury Report to prevent any further deaths, maimings, and infections from unsafe, unregulated clinics.

For those who don’t want to read all the way to the end, the bottom line is the Texas bill is in complete alignment with Roe v. Wade. What Wendy Davis and the abortion lobby are demanding actually goes against the concerns and constraints expressed by the Supreme Court.

To help you understand, here is the link to the Vote Smart’s Synopsis of the SB 5 that Wendy and Planned Parenthood fought, along with the highlights of their synopsis, followed by excerpts from the Roe v. Wade decision. 

Vote Smart’s Synopsis: Increases Abortion Facility Requirements and Prohibits Abortions After 20 Weeks

Highlights:

  • Prohibits a physician from performing or attempting to perform an abortion if a fetus is determined to have reached a “probable post-fertilization age” of 20 weeks (Sec. 3).
  • Defines “post-fertilization age” as the age of the fetus as calculated from the time of fertilization (Sec. 3).
  • Exempts an abortion performed after 20 weeks if the abortion is necessary to avert the death or serious physical impairment of a major bodily function of the patient or if the abortion is performed due to a “severe fetal abnormality” (Sec. 3).
  • Defines “severe fetal abnormality” as a life threatening physical condition that, in “reasonable” medical judgment, is incompatible with life outside of the womb (Sec. 3).
  • Requires a physician to perform the abortion in a manner which will provide the best opportunity for the fetus to survive unless termination of the pregnancy in that manner poses a greater risk of death or serious injury of the patient than another available method (Sec. 3).
  • Prohibits a physician from performing an abortion after 20 weeks due to a claim or diagnosis that the woman will engage in conduct that may result in her death or in substantial and irreversible physical impairment of a major bodily function (Sec. 3).
  • Requires a physician who performs an abortion to have admitting privileges at a hospital that provides obstetrical or gynecological health care services and that is located no more than 30 miles from the location where the abortion is to be performed (Sec. 2).
  • Requires the physician to provide the abortion patient a phone number where he or she may be reached 24 hours a day and the name and phone number of the closest hospital from the abortion patient’s home in the event of a complication (Sec. 2).
  • Classifies a violation of these provisions by a physician as a Class A misdemeanor with a penalty of no more than $4,000 (Sec. 2).
  • Requires abortion facilities to meet the standards of ambulatory surgical centers, effective September 1, 2014 (Sec. 4).
  • Prohibits an individual, other than a physician, from administering, selling, dispensing, or prescribing an abortion-inducing drug (Sec. 4).
  • Defines “abortion-inducing drug” as a drug, medicine, or other substance prescribed, dispensed, or administered with the intent of terminating a clinically diagnosable pregnancy (Sec. 4).
  • Requires the physician to examine the patient prior to administering or prescribing an abortion-inducing drug to determine and document the gestation age and location of the fetus (Sec. 4).
  • Requires the physician to prescribe and administer the abortion-inducing drug according to the guidelines outlined by the Food and Drug Administration and in a dosage amount prescribed by the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists Practice Bulletin as of January 1, 2013 (Sec. 4).
  • Requires the physician who administers, sells, dispenses, or prescribes an abortion-inducing drug to schedule a follow-up visit with the patient no more than 14 days after the administration or use of the drug (Sec. 2).
  • Requires the physician to make a “reasonable effort” to ensure that the patient returns for the scheduled follow-up visit (Sec. 2).
  • Specifies that a procedure is not considered an abortion for the purposes of this bill if the procedure is performed for the following purposes (Sec. 3):
    • The procedure is performed to save the life of the fetus;
    • The procedure is preformed to remove a fetus whose death was caused by a spontaneous abortion;
    • The procedure is preformed to remove an ectopic pregnancy; or
    • The procedure is performed to treat a disease or illness of the patient.

Wendy and her Planned Parenthood supporters decried this legislation as draconian. With everything Wendy read throughout her 11-hour stand for unrestricted, unregulated abortion, she did not read from Roe v. Wade.

It is the founding document of women’s access to abortion, so it would seem like a worthy read…if you want to read it in its entirety click on the link. I have included the paragraphs I found of interest.

Roe v. Wade: 410 U.S. 113 The Supreme Court heard augments were originally heard on December 13 and 1971, and reargued October 11 1972 and decided January 22, 1973. Justice Blackmun delivered the opinion of the Court. Justice Rehnquist wrote the dissenting option and Justice Stewart wrote the concurring opinion.

The following is excerpted from Justice Blackmun’s opinion:

VI

In 1970, after the introduction of a variety of proposed resolutions, and of a report from its Board of Trustees, a reference committee noted “polarization of the medical profession on this controversial issue”; division among those who had testified; a difference of opinion among AMA councils and committees; “the remarkable shift in testimony” in six months, felt to be influenced “by the rapid changes in state laws and by the judicial decisions which tend to make abortion more freely available;” and a feeling “that this trend will continue.” On June 25, 1970, the House of Delegates adopted preambles and most of the resolutions proposed by the reference committee. The preambles emphasized “the best interests of the patient,” “sound clinical judgment,” and “informed patient consent,” in contrast to “mere acquiescence to the patient’s demand.” The resolutions asserted that abortion is a medical procedure that should be performed by a licensed physician in an accredited hospital only after consultation with two other physicians and in conformity with state law, and that no party to the procedure should be required to violate personally held moral principles. 38 Proceedings of the AMA House of Delegates 220 (June 1970). The AMA Judicial Council rendered a complementary opinion. 39

  1. The position of the American Public Health Association. In October 1970, the Executive Board of the APHA adopted Standards for Abortion Services. These were five in number:
    1. Rapid and simple abortion referral must be readily available through state and local public health departments, medical societies, or other nonprofit organizations.
    2. An important function of counseling should be to simplify and expedite the provision of abortion services; it should not delay the obtaining of these services.
    3. Psychiatric consultation should not be mandatory. As in the case of other specialized medical services, psychiatric consultation should be sought for definite indications and not on a routine basis.
    4. A wide range of individuals from appropriately trained, sympathetic volunteers to highly skilled physicians may qualify as abortion counselors.
    5. Contraception and/or sterilization should be discussed with each abortion patient.” Recommended Standards for Abortion Services, 61 Am. J. Pub. Health 396 (1971).

Among factors pertinent to life and health risks associated with abortion were three that “are recognized as important”:

  1. the skill of the physician,
  2. the environment in which the abortion is performed, and above all
  3. the duration of pregnancy, as determined by uterine size and confirmed by menstrual history.” Id., at 397.

It was said that “a well-equipped hospital” offers more protection “to cope with unforeseen difficulties than an office or clinic without such resources. . . . The factor of gestational age is of overriding importance.” Thus, it was recommended that abortions in the second trimester and early abortions in the presence of existing medical complications be performed in hospitals as inpatient procedures. For pregnancies in the first trimester, abortion in the hospital with or without overnight stay “is probably the safest practice.” An abortion in an extramural facility, however, is an acceptable alternative “provided arrangements exist in advance to admit patients promptly if unforeseen complications develop.” Standards for an abortion facility were listed. It was said that at present abortions should be performed by physicians or osteopaths who are licensed to practice and who have “adequate training.” Id., at 398.

 

XI

To summarize and to repeat:

(a) For the stage prior to approximately the end of the first trimester, the abortion decision and its effectuation must be left to the medical judgment of the pregnant woman’s attending physician.

(b) For the stage subsequent to approximately the end of the first trimester, the State, in promoting its interest in the health of the mother, may, if it chooses, regulate the abortion procedure in ways that are reasonably related to maternal health.

(c) For the stage subsequent to viability, the State in promoting its interest in the potentiality of human life may, if it chooses, regulate, and even proscribe, abortion except where it is necessary, in appropriate medical judgment, for the preservation of the life or health of the mother.

  1. The State may define the term “physician,” as it has been employed in the preceding paragraphs of this Part XI of this opinion, to mean only a physician currently licensed by the State, and may proscribe any abortion by a person who is not a physician as so defined.

This holding, we feel, is consistent with the relative weights of the respective interests involved, with the lessons and examples of medical and legal history, with the lenity of the common law, and with the demands of the profound problems of the present day. The decision leaves the State free to place increasing restrictions on abortion as the period of pregnancy lengthens, so long as those restrictions are tailored to the recognized state interests. The decision vindicates the right of the physician to administer medical treatment according to his professional judgment up to the points where important state interests provide compelling justifications for intervention. Up to those points, the abortion decision in all its aspects is inherently, and primarily, a medical decision, and basic responsibility for it must rest with the physician. If an individual practitioner abuses the privilege of exercising proper medical judgment, the usual remedies, judicial and intra-professional, are available.

 

As you can clearly see, the Supreme Court ruled in Roe v. Wade that the State, in promoting its interest in the health of the mother, may regulate the abortion procedure in ways that are reasonably related to maternal health. Additionally, as the fetus becomes more viable outside the womb, the State has and increasing interest in the potentiality of human life.

The Court further broke down the time line indicating the first trimester (12 weeks) as a medical judgment between a woman and her attending physician. In the subsequent stage (12-24 weeks), the State may regulate to ensure maternal health, and in the final trimester, the State’s interest changes to the potential life of a viable infant.

In demanding unregulated abortions through 20 weeks, Wendy Davis and Planned Parenthood are defying the will of the Supreme Court, and violating both the letter and the spirit of Roe v. Wade.

PG

Author: H. Sandra Chevalier-Batik

I started the Inconvenient Woman Blog in 2007, and am the product of a long line of inconvenient women. The matriarchal line is French-Canadian, Roman Catholic, with a very feisty Irish great-grandmother thrown in for sheer bloody mindedness. I am a research analyst and author who has made her living studying technical data, and developing articles, training materials, books and web content. Tracking through statistical data, and oblique cross-references to find the relevant connections that identifies a problem, or explains a path of action, is my passion. I love clearly delineating the magic questions of knowledge: Who, What, Why, When, Where and for How Much, Paid to Whom. My life lessons: listen carefully, question with boldness, and personally verify the answers. I look at America through the appreciative eyes of an immigrant, and an amateur historian; the popular and political culture is a ceaseless fascination. I have no impressive initials after my name. I’m merely an observer and a chronicler, an inconvenient woman who asks questions, and sometimes encourages others to look at things differently.