I wrote this in my January 27 WorldNetDaily.com column about a new bill introduced in NE:
The Abortion Pain Prevention Act takes us into a whole new world of abortion law, banning all abortions after 20 gestational weeks on the basis of a preborn baby’s capacity to feel the pain of it all. At this age a baby anatomically “has the physical structures necessary to experience pain,” states the bill, based on scientific evidence….
Watch this legislation. It has the potential to be as explosive in the 2000s as the Partial Birth Abortion Ban was in the 1990s, and just as damaging to the abortion movement. Meanwhile, if passed, it would save exponentially more lives.
The Omaha World-Herald reported in a February 21 article entitled, “State could reshape abortion policy,” that the National Right to Life Committee has become quite forthcoming in its hope this legislation will find its way to the US Supreme Court.
I find this quite exciting. NRLC usually plays its cards very close to the vest. That it is so willing to openly hope this legislation comes before the Supremes indicates confidence it would pass muster.
Don’t forget, this bill comes at a time when medicine is saving younger and younger babies, and fetal surgery of wanted babies requires fetal pain relief.
If this legislation is determined to be constitutional, US abortion law would drastically change. And the debate along the way will be devastating to the other side.
Pro-aborts should be very afraid, and I’m sure they are. Here’s the piece:
Now abortion opponents are looking for opportunities to push the court even further in restricting abortion.
“I think National Right to Life wants to see something go to the Supreme Court that would provide more protection to the unborn child,” said Mary Spaulding Balch, a lobbyist for the organization.
A new NE legislative proposal could provide that opportunity.
Legislative Bill 1103 would ban abortions after 20 weeks unless the procedure would save a woman’s life or “avert serious risk of substantial and irreversible physical impairment of a major bodily function.”…
The bill would break new legal ground in 2 areas:
- It redraws the line after which abortions would be restricted.
- It narrows the cases in which abortions would be allowed after the line is reached.
Abortion law now is based on fetal viability – the point at which a fetus can survive outside the womb. Typically, a fetus is viable at about 24 weeks.
In the landmark 1992 Casey v. Planned Parenthood case, the Supreme Court said a woman has a right to an abortion without “undue interference” from the government before her fetus is viable….
NE law now follows the Casey prescription: Abortions are banned after viability except to protect the life or health of the woman.
Balch, the Right to Life lobbyist, argues for redrawing the line based on new information about fetal development.
She contends, and some experts agree, that a fetus can experience pain at 20 weeks.
“What I would like to bring to the attention of the court is, there is another line,” Balch said. “This new knowledge is something the court has not looked at before and should look at.”…
Balch draws hope from the 2007 ruling on the federal ban on intact dilation and extraction [Partial Birth Abortion Ban]. The court majority upheld the ban on the D&X procedure’s use even before a fetus is viable, marking a break from its previous rulings.
But Crepps, the abortion rights advocate, called such arguments “wishful thinking.”
The 2007 ruling found the ban on intact dilation and extraction procedures constitutional, in part because women seeking abortions had alternative methods available, she said.
[Janet] Crepps [of the Center for Reproductive Rights] finds comfort in the position of Justice Anthony Kennedy, who is the swing vote on the court….
Kennedy co-wrote the Casey decision affirming the viability standard and is unlikely to overrule himself, she said.
In Casey, the court held that the balance of rights shifts when a fetus can live independent of a woman. At that point, the state’s interest in protecting the fetus can override the woman’s right to choose abortion….
Even if the court changed course and accepted the 20-week standard, the bill could be doomed by a second major matter, said Laurel Marsh, executive director of ACLU NE.
“Our contention is that it still is unconstitutional because it has no mental health exception,” she said….
But the SC has never specifically been asked to rule on whether a health exception must include mental health.
The SC ruled in 2007 that the federal “partial-birth” abortion ban did not need to have a health exception.>/p>