Sunday, June 05, 2005


Va. Court and the Abortion Ban

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit (based in Richmond, Virginia) struck down this week a state law that banned late-term "partial-birth" abortions, ruling that the procedure is unconstitutional because it lacks an exception to safeguard a woman's health ("Abortion law struck down").

The court's ruling was correct. Exceptions to protect a woman's health must be included in such laws. But that doesn't mean that society shouldn't restrict such procedures (also known as "Intact Dilation and Extraction").

Many of us feel torn between the extremes on abortion. We feel that abortion is at best a tragedy, a horrible choice in desperate circumstances, and that serious effort ought to be made to reduce the number of abortions. But even given that belief, many of us do not feel that a woman (or doctor) who makes that desperate choice ought to be prosecuted as a criminal. Does that make us "pro-choice"? ..."pro-life"? Once again, the labels used by the right and left seem inadequate to describe what seems to be the vast majority of Americans.

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