Reflection on Gonzales v. Carhart (the recent Ruling on the Partial Birth Abortion Ban)

Judicial Life Potentially Enters the Womb
550 U.S. ___ (2007)

On April 18, 2007, the Supreme Court of the United States decided, 5 to 4, in Gonzales v. Carhart (Carhart) that the Partial-Birth Abortion Act of 2003 (Act) was constitutional in view of Planned Parenthood v. Casey, 505 U.S. 833 (PP), and Roe v. Wade, 410 U.S. 113 (Roe). The Act banned the abortion procedure identified as “intact D&E” but kept legal the “standard D&E” procedure (see syl, p. 1 at the end of the first paragraph for the differences between the procedures).

I read the decision that included a Syllabus (syl), Opinion of the Court (op), THOMAS, J., concurring (co), and GINSBURG, J., dissenting (dis or Dissent) and have some thoughts regarding them. In order to have full disclosure, I would like this and further court rulings to outlaw abortions except in cases where a (pregnant) woman (PW) with a separate human life (SHL; defined as having a biologically human mother and father with egg and sperm, respectively) within her at any stage of development faces likely, or imminent death by birthing or carrying in herself said life.

There will be made a few specific and random observations. Specifically, the Carhart ruling

  1. potentially moved the legality of ending the SHL’s life from outside the PW (infanticide) to inside the PW
  2. possibly moved people to view a second and third trimester entity (as defined in Roe) as human worthy of protection
  3. brought aspects of abortion to light.

As background for the further discussion, Roe has three “essential holdings” that include

  1. “a recognition of the right of the woman to choose to have an abortion before viability and to obtain it without undue interference [or undue burden] from the State. Before viability, the State’s interests are not strong enough to support a prohibition of abortion or the imposition of a substantial obstacle to the woman’s effective right to elect the procedure”
  2. “a confirmation of the State’s power to restrict abortions after fetal viability, if the law contains exceptions for pregnancies which endanger the woman’s life or health”
  3. “the principle that the State has legitimate interests from the outset of the pregnancy in protecting the health of the woman and the life of the fetus that may become a child.” (op, pp. 15-16)

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