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Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Supreme Court declares women less intelligent than legislators

posted by bitchphd
Ladies, we're offically second-class citizens. This according to the Supreme Court, which today found that it's constitutional for lawmakers (aka white men) to decide what kind of medical care we need. In short, the Court upheld the "Partial Birth Abortion Ban." Despite the fact that "partial birth abortion" is not a medically recognized term.

What is medically recognized:
- 90% of abortions occur in the first trimester.
- Intact dilation and extraction (also known as IDX, or sometimes just D&X) is used in approximately .17% of all abortions.
- It is probable (though definitive data do not exist) that the majority of IDX procedures are performed because of fetal abnormalities.
- IDX, because it delivers a fetus whole, creates less risk of uterine perforation from bone fragments than other forms of late-term abortion.
- IDX has less risk of infection than other forms of late-term abortion, because it takes less time and requires the insertion of fewer instruments into the uterus.
- IDX (like other late-term abortion procedures) can prevent a woman who has found that her fetus is dead or not viable from having to undergo labor and delivery of a dead fetus.
- IDX can allow women whose fetuses are not viable to view and hold their dead babies after delivery.
- Most IDX procedures are performed between 20-24 weeks gestation--that is, within the second trimester, and before fetal viability.
In cases where a fetus has severe hydrocephalus (water on the brain, which can cause a fetuses head to be grotesquely enlarged), the options to a woman may be IDX or a Cesarean section--that is, a three-day outpatient procedure or major surgery, with attendant potential complications.
- The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists explicitly opposed the ban.
The law allows for IDX to be performed to save a woman's life--but not to save, say, her uterus. Because there are other surgical options for late-term abortions, it is highly unlikely that banning IDX will prevent a single abortion. It may, however, prevent some women from having the safest procedure for their particular circumstances.

What the court's decided, in essence, is that a woman's right to make her own medical decisions is less important than preventing legislators from getting an ooky feeling by thinking about fetal heads being punctured. Our safety is less important than their feelings.

Sources consulted:
Salon: "A Doctor's Right to Choose."
Library of Congress Congressional Research Services report 95-1101 SPR: "Abortion Procedures"
Suzanne Batchelor, "Abortion Procedures Ban Limits Endings for Doomed Pregnancies"
Planned Parenthood Federation of America: "PPA Opposes Abortion Ban Legislation"
Religious Tolerance.org: "D&X / PBA Procedures"
Wikipedia entry on Intact Dilation and Extraction
Wikipedia entry on hydrocephalus

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