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The Daily Cardinal Est. 1892
Wednesday, April 24, 2024

U.S. bans partial birth abortions

In a highly anticipated decision Wednesday, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled 5-4 to uphold the constitutionality of an abortion law limiting certain abortion procedures.  


While the decision leaves open interpretation of its exact meaning, it will mostly effect abortions after the first trimester, which now constitute about 10 to 20 percent of all abortions.  


Both anti-abortion and abortion rights groups across Wisconsin said they believe the decision is monumental in abortion history.  


According to Barbara Lyons, executive director of Wisconsin Right to Life, the decision is a positive step for the anti-abortion community.  


""It's a tremendous victory for unborn children because they will no longer be subjected to this brutal procedure anywhere in this country, including Wisconsin,"" Lyons said. 


Lyons said the way the decision was written gives the government great power in finding ways to strengthen laws protecting unborn children.  


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Conversely, Kelda Helen Roys, executive director of NARAL pro-choice Wisconsin, said the decision signaled the government's departure from the importance of women's health.  


""The anti-choice movement's goal is to criminalize abortion step by step,"" Roys said. ""Today they have achieved one significant part of their goal.""  


According to Roys, anti-abortion activists describe the law as a ban on partial-birth abortions, a non-medical term she said is used to sensationalize a private decision.  


Roys said the most unfortunate outcome of the law is that it will further intimidate women and doctors who worry about the unclear scope of the law.  


""The real problem is doctors will be deprived of their ability to make judgments based on what's best for the patient,"" Roys said. ""It's more about trying to create an atmosphere of fear to stop doctors from providing abortions."" 


Roys added this ruling will affect women who want to have children, but are forced to abort due to medical complications, usually deter.  


Kim Wadas, associate director of the Wisconsin Catholic Conference, the social policy branch of the Catholic diocese, described the decision as a substantial step for anti-abortion advocacy. 


""We are pleased with today's court ruling and see it as a victory for the proposition that there can be some legal restrictions placed on the destruction of human life,"" Wadas said.  


However, Wadas stressed the importance of anti-abortion advocacy to continue efforts toward overturning all abortions.  


Roys said despite the decision by the Supreme Court, pro-choice activists will also continue to fight for their cause. 


""NARAL pro-choice wants to ensure that abortion remains safe, legal and accessible for women in Wisconsin and throughout the United States,"" Roy said. ""We are redoubling our efforts to repeal the criminal abortion ban and to help pass a freedom of choice act.""

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