In a decision which really surprised no one, a New York District Federal Judge handed down a ruling declaring unconstitutional the ban on Partial-Birth Abortion, which President Bush signed into law last year.
In his opinion, Judge Richard Casey stated that the Supreme Court has made it clear that a law that prohibits the performance of a particular abortion procedure must include an exception to preserve a woman's life and health.
However, the law already has language in it granting an exception for the life of the mother:
According to the text of the law, the form of abortion is not banned if it is "necessary to save the life of a mother whose life is endangered by a physical disorder, physical illness, or physical injury, including a life-endangering physical condition caused by or arising from the pregnancy itself."
Judge Casey's ruling is pure legal legerdemain. Firstly, this grisly procedure, which involves delivering the unborn child into the birth canal, thrusting a scissors into its skull, using a suction cannula to suck out its brain, and then crushing its skull, has been repeatedly declared, by the American Medical Association and other medical bodies, to be completely unneccesary, whether to save the mother or for any other reason whatsoever. So providing a "life exception" for the mother in this instance is utterly superfluous.
But the real reasoning for this ruling is contained in the phrase "women's health". The pro-abortion forces have always sought and used a definition of "women's health" that is so broad that practically anything can be used to justify abortion. Particularly slippery are the justifications based on a woman's emotional or mental health. Under this specious reasoning, many of the common inconveniences and burdens of pregnancy can be used to justify abortion. For example, the hormonally-induced depression that many women experience at different points of a pregnancy has been used to justify abortion based on the negative impact it will have on a woman's "emotional health".
The lack of a health exception deprives the pro-abortion movement an end run which would reduce the law to meaninglessness. They cannot allow any abortion, no matter how gratuitous or barbarically accomplished, to be challenged, because that would expose the lies, distortions, and base motives which undergird the abortion license.
Ultimately, this case is about two things: judges preserving their power to legislate from the bench, and their power over life and death. And they will, if necessary, defend those powers at the expense of innocent lives.
This case is also about defending the sexual license which has become the defining and core value of our society. We will have sex with who we want, when we want, and however we want. And we will pretend not to notice, and shout down any who point out, that the bed of our lusts is built on the mangled and disfigured bodies of innocent children.
Thanks to Amy Welborn for the link.