The Lamp

Where truth can be shared.

Life: On Hold Until June

Posted by thelamp on November 16, 2006

Killing a baby just seconds before it can take the first precious breath of life exceeds the cruelty of abortion and amounts to “infanticide.” That’s the argument Paul D. Clement, solicitor general for the Department of Justice, presented exceptionally well last week as he urged justices of the U.S. Supreme Court to uphold the ban on partial-birth abortions passed by Congress and signed into law by President George W. Bush in 2003.

“The Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act was a marvelous piece of legislation,” said Pastor Rod Parsley, who was present at the White House when President Bush signed it. “It was an act that expressed the will of Congress and the will of the people.”

The justices voted on Nov. 8 a few hours after hearing the arguments, but their decision is not expected until June.
Click Below to read the transcripts from Wednesday’s oral arguments:

Or visit C-Span and click on Recent Programs to download and listen to audio of the oral arguments.

For roughly two hours, the eight justices present Wednesday sharply questioned attorneys on both sides of the legal battle. Justice Clarence Thomas was absent due to illness last week; however, he is expected to participate in the court’s ruling on the two cases heard on Nov. 8.

A key question raised by six members of the court – Chief Justice John Roberts, as well as Justices Ruth Bader Ginsberg, David Souter, Anthony Kennedy, Stephen Breyer and John Paul Stephens – focused on congressional findings regarding the procedure. During hearings before Congress passed the ban, medical experts testified that partial-birth abortions are never medically necessary.

In the method as normally practiced, the baby is delivered feet first until only the head is left in the birth canal. Then the doctor pierces the base of the infant’s skull with surgical scissors before suctioning out the brain, killing the baby.
Although abortion advocates disputed the congressional findings, their lawyer acknowledged Wednesday that there was no evidence on record as to how often a medical need for a partial-birth abortion might arise.

In 2000, the U.S. Supreme Court invalidated a similar ban in Nebraska by a 5-4 vote because it did not contain an exception that would allow the procedure to preserve a woman’s health. There is a significant difference between the Nebraska law and the federal prohibition on partial-birth abortion that came six years later.

Although the Nebraska ban contained no factual findings to corroborate the Bush administration’s position that partial-birth abortion is unnecessary for a mother’s health, the federal ban contains substantial findings based on extensive hearings held during the 104th, 105th, 107th and 108th Congresses.

In addition to disputing the possibility of any medical necessity for the procedure, medical experts noted that partial-birth abortion might very well be dangerous to women. Historically, the Supreme Court has deferred to Congress on findings.

So how are the justices likely to rule? In the Nebraska case, Justices Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas voted to preserve the sanctity of life. They have indicated they have no inclination to switch sides. Chief Justice John Roberts and Associate Justice Samuel Alito, who replaced Sandra Day O’Connor, are expected to uphold the partial-birth abortion ban based on their records at the appellate level. That’s four in support of life.

Another four members of the court – Associate Justices John Paul Stevens, David Souter, Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Stephen Breyer – voted with the majority in 2000 to strike the Nebraska ban. Justice O’Connor, the fifth vote in the majority, has since retired.

The swing vote is in the hands of Justice Anthony Kennedy. In the 2000 case, Kennedy expressed his vehement distaste for partial-birth abortion. However, in recent arguments, he has noted concern over whether the congressional findings were correct: that the procedure is never necessary to protect a woman’s health.

Given the extensive medical evidence that abortion providers could not refute, Bible believers have reason for optimism. It’s encouraging to think that the brutal killings could come to an end in June.


3 Responses to “Life: On Hold Until June”

  1. Maria said

    Debates are taking place in the UK at the moment because doctors and ethicists have said babies born at 22weeks or younger shouldn’t be put in intensive care but they should allow nature to take its course!

    In Jesus,
    Maria in the UK

  2. mcalmond said

    I know this is totally out of context with your posting but I wanted to stop by and say, have a joyous and happy Thankgiving!

    Blessings in Christ Jesus!

  3. The Lamp said

    Happy Thanksgiving to you, too.

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