During last night’s WBZ Radio “discussion” Martha Coakley denied that she is a supporter of Partial Birth Abortion. The facts could be no different though. In 2007 when the Supreme Court upheld the Partial Birth Abortion ban Martha wrote an op-ed for the Patriot Ledger. While the op-ed is no longer available on-line an Letter to the Editor in response is. It mentions Martha’s initial op-ed, which Red Mass Group has obtained a copy of.
The Gonzales decision significantly undermines rules of law established in virtually every single Supreme Court abortion case decided since Roe v. Wade. The court has repeatedly held that “the States (have the) power to restrict abortions after fetal viability, if the law contains exceptions for pregnancies which endanger the woman’s life or health.” A Republican-dominated Congress, despite substantial medical and scientific evidence to the contrary, decided that the banned procedure is NEVER used to preserve the health of a woman, and so no such exception is necessary.
While acknowledging that certain congressional findings were plainly wrong, and that there is disputed evidence on whether the banned procedure is indeed performed where the health of the woman is at stake, the majority held that “medical uncertainty” does not make the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act unconstitutional.
In concluding that no exception is required even where a woman’s health is at stake, Justice Kennedy conveniently overlooked the fact that as recently as 2000 in Stenberg v. Carhart, the Supreme Court struck down as unconstitutional a similar Nebraska state law because it failed to include a health exception was required. How could the mere passage of seven years bring about diametrically opposed results? The answer lies in the composition of the court: specifically the departure of Justice Sandra Day O’Connor and the arrival of Justice Samuel Alito, a longtime opponent of a woman’s right to choose.
It is clear, from Justice Kennedy’s repeated confirmation of the ban as an expression of a state’s right to protect and respect “life,” “human life,” “the life within the woman,” and the “life of the fetus that may become a child,” that we now live in a country where the government can decide to prefer an unborn fetus over its mother. This from a court that once (when abortion was a fundamental right) expressly said it could not and would not determine when “life” began until there was a consensus regarding that definition in medicine, philosophy and theology, and, at present, there is no such consensus.
The court’s repeated reference to the morality of abortion directly contravenes language from the now virtually defunct Planned Parenthood v. Casey, where Justice O’Connor wrote: “Some of us as individuals find abortion offensive to our most basic principles of morality, but that cannot control our decision. Our obligation is to define the liberty of all, not to mandate our own moral code.”
Martha Coakley goes beyond “Pro-Choice” she is Pro-Abortion as we have demonstrated time and time again. Now that it is the General Election she is realizing that her Pro-Abortion stances could hurt her chances.