Thursday, October 26, 2006

Pro-life?

The actions of Nicaragua's legislature should cause Jews who identify with the so-called "pro-life" movement to pause and reflect as to what their allies are up to. It just banned all abortions. Period. If continuing a pregancy means death for the mother, it doesn't matter -- she has to die:

http://www.nytimes.com/2006/10/27/world/americas/27nicaragua.html

This of course is in conflict with halachah, which gives priority to the mother's life. And my Catholic friends tell me that this actually isn't consistent even with Catholic teaching, which treats the mother's life as equal to that of a newly fertilized embryo, not inferior to it. If Roe v. Wade is overturned, it is entirely possible that so-called "pro-life" activists will outdo themselves to pass the strictest prohibitions possible and they will likely suceed in the majority of states. And this is not good.

6 Comments:

Blogger Ezzie said...

They would *not* likely succeed, even in the strongest anti-abortion states. Didn't we already see that in South Dakota? (IIRC)

10/27/2006 12:22 AM  
Blogger Charlie Hall said...

Here is the actual South Dakota law:

http://news.findlaw.com/nytimes/docs/abortion/sdabortionlaw06.html

It clearly is not consistent with Jewish teaching. And it would prevent even medically necessary abortions because it places a burden on the physician to save both the mother and child if possible; no physician wants to risk prosecution over a medical decision. Similar considerations caused Sen. Joe Lieberman to vote against the federal so-called "partial birth abortion" ban even though, strictly speaking, that particular procedure would not be a kosher way of terminating a preganancy.

IIRC the South Dakota law has been petitioned to referendum so its enforcement is suspended until then.

10/27/2006 10:46 AM  
Blogger Jak Black said...

If Roe v. Wade is overturned, it is entirely possible that so-called "pro-life" activists will outdo themselves to pass the strictest prohibitions possible and they will likely suceed in the majority of states. And this is not good.

(rolls eyes) This is fear-mongering, nothing more. I'm surprised you didn't mention filthy abandoned apartments and coat-hangers.

In truth, jurisdiction would return to the states, where it belongs, and the vast majority still supports more narrow access to abortion.

10/29/2006 5:30 AM  
Blogger Nephtuli said...

Jak and Ezzie are right. I can't imagine a single state not allowing abortion when the mother's life is in danger.

10/29/2006 10:12 PM  
Blogger Charlie Hall said...

Nephtuli,

Did you read the text of the South Dakota law? No physician would risk prison by performing an abortion there under those provisions.

10/30/2006 11:42 AM  
Blogger Nephtuli said...

Article 4 states:

"No licensed physician who performs a medical procedure designed or intended to prevent the death of a pregnant mother is guilty of violating section 2 of this Act."

Abortions are allowed to prevent the death of the mother. I could see a chilling effect when the health of the mother is concerned, but not when her life is in danger.

10/30/2006 2:32 PM  

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