The supreme court decision last month to uphold a federal ban on partial birth abortions (Gonzales vs Carhart) is beginning to populate the legal landscape, already suggesting the effects it will have on states’ laws regarding abortion.
States are now free to experiment with all kinds of pre-abortion requirements, including anti-abortion messages, psychological counseling, and mandatory waiting periods. As long as a new regulation isn’t considered an “undue burden” on the majority of women, it will likely survive.
In his 39-page majority opinion, Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote, “The state’s interest in respect for life is advanced by the dialogue that better informs the political and legal systems, the medical profession, expectant mothers and society as a whole of the consequences that follow from a decision to elect a late-term abortion.”
It is reasonable to expect most of this “dialogue” to be shaped by pro-life partisans.
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