web grab.jpgby JivinJ, host of the blog, JivinJehoshaphat

  • The Illinois Supreme Court will take up IL’s parental notification law which has been in limbo since 1995.
  • Slate’s William Saletan (a pro-choicer who favors some abortion restrictions) describes his debate with UK abortion proponent Ann Furediregarding limits on late-term abortion and while his conclusion (cognition, interaction and viability make humans valuable) is wrong, he still points to some major flaws in Furedi’s beliefs:If, as Furedi says, viability makes no particular difference, then why stop at birth? In our debate, I pointed out that the neural development trajectory outlined in “The Emergence of Human Consciousness: From Fetal to Neonatal Life” doesn’t end at birth. It runs through the first three years of life. If a child’s ability to survive on its own makes no difference, and if neural development adds no binding significance to the fetus’s original dispensability, then who are you to impose your values on Susan Smith, Andrea Yates, or Marilyn Lemak? If a woman feels that eight, 18, or 28 weeks after birth isn’t too late for her, shouldn’t we trust her judgment?

    Interestingly, Saletan is unable to see that his own arbitrary criteria for limiting abortion could also lead to the killing of some born human beings.

  • On Tuesday, Circuit Judge William Gowan entered judgment in favor of Daschica Thomas who sued longtime Mississippi abortionist Joseph Booker (pictured left) in 2005 after a botched abortion in 2003 put her in a coma for a week. Booker didn’t show for the hearing and his former lawyer doesn’t know where to find him. He no longer works at Mississippi’s lone abortion clinic:

The lawsuit claims that Booker wasn’t the doctor originally scheduled to perform the abortion, but the other doctor was out that day. When Booker was performing the abortion, he allegedly stopped abruptly, said he couldn’t finish it and told Thomas to come back so it could be completed by the other doctor.

The lawsuit claims a “reasonably prudent” physician would have treated Thomas with antibiotics because of her diabetes, but Booker didn’t. Thomas allegedly came down with a blood infection, went into a coma and needed blood transfusions. The lawsuit also claims, among other things, that Thomas couldn’t have children after the abortion and that her husband lost his job for missing work while caring for her.

Booker performed abortions in Mississippi for years and found himself in controversial situations before.

Here’s an interview Booker did after the death of George Tiller.

  • At the NY Times Opinionator, Notre Dame philosophy professor Gary Guttingdiscusses personhood, abortion and logic:The basic problem is that, once we give up the claim that a fertilized egg is a human person (has full moral standing), there is no plausible basis for claiming that all further stages of development are human persons. The DNA criterion seems to be the only criterion of being human that applies at every stage from conception to birth. If we agree that it does not apply at the earliest stages of gestation, there is no basis for claiming that every abortion is the killing of an innocent human person.


In a letter to Congress co-signed by over 30 pro-choice groups — including Planned Parenthood, NARAL Pro-Choice America and the Center for Reproductive Rights — laid out their case, explaining that Franks’ bill was “simply more of the same from the anti-choice extremists in the House” and urged Congress to oppose the initiative.

“[T]he bill will effectively exacerbate already existing disparities by limiting some women’s access to comprehensive reproductive health care and penalizing health care providers,” they wrote. “Instead of addressing health disparities and ensuring accessible and culturally competent medical care for all women, the Prenatal Nondiscrimination Act will further isolate and stigmatize some women — particularly those in the Asian American and Pacific Islander and African American communities — from exercising their fundamental human right to make and implement decisions about their reproductive lives.”

[Booker photo via saynsumthn.wordpress.com; Franks photo via nndb.com]

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