Originally posted by sh76
Protecting the right to life of a baby who is viable outside of the mother; there's the compelling state interest.
That's not me talking, that's Casey. And emotion has nothing to do with it.
need to flesh that out -- what if the pregnancy, if not terminated, endangers the life of the mother?
In a recent SupCt case on point -- resulting in an opinion with which I disagree -- public health care officials and nonprofit corporations that performed abortions, filed a class action against Missouri, challenging the constitutionality of a Missouri statute that regulated the performance of abortions. The US Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit struck down several provisions of the statute pursuant to Roe v. Wade, and the State appealed from that decision.
The SupCt reversed the appeals court. The Missouri statute stated in its preamble, Mo. Rev. Stat. §§ 1.205.1(1), (2) (1986), a finding that human life began at conception and that unborn children had protectable interests in life and well-being.
Among other things, the statute prohibited the use of public employees and facilities to perform abortions not necessary to save the mother's life, and it prohibited the use of public funds to counsel a woman to have an abortion that was not necessary to save her life.
On appeal, the Court reasoned that it was not necessary to determine the constitutionality of the statute's preamble because it simply expressed a value judgment and did not regulate abortions.
The Court declined to invalidate the statute's prohibition against the use of public funds, employees, and facilities to provide abortions because the prohibition placed no governmental obstacle in the path of a woman who chose to have an abortion. She was no less off than if the state had chosen not to provide public health care.
The Court found that the statute's prohibition against public funded counseling in favor of abortions was moot because appellees contended that they were not adversely affected by this provision.
There is an interesting dance being done here between conservative judicial activism and traditional common law priniciples of jurisprudence. The court avoided the substantive questions, dancing away from them, on the grounds that it is not empowered to decide abstract propositions, or to declare, for the government of future cases, principles or rules of law which cannot affect the result as to the thing in issue in the case before it.
That's the old Chief Justice Taft at the Tidal Basin joke I recall from law school.
If the court wanted to reach those "abstract" principles, it could and would.
I would argue that there no longer exists any bright line between the fundamental right that was established in Griswold and the fundamental right of abortion that was established in Roe. These two rights, because of advances in medicine and science, now overlap.
The most common forms of what we generically in common parlance call contraception today, IUDs, low dose birth control pills which are the safest type of birth control pills available, act as abortifacients. It is impossible to distinguish between abortion and contraception when you define abortion as the destruction of the first joinder of the ovum and the sperm.
That's why I suggest that we need to deal with one right, the right to procreate. We are no longer talking about two rights. I think the health rights of the woman always are supreme at any stage of pregnancy.