The abortion clinic world has been has been turned upside down by the latest upholding of the "Partial Birth Abortion Ban." Doctors and clinic administrators are struggling to understand the gray areas of the law so that they will not be prosecuted for doing regular abortions. Remember, in some states it is an exceedingly hostile environment and it wouldn't take that much to create a case against someone. The accusation would not stick, but the defense costs would bankrupt most clinics.
There are lots of commentators who are saying that this doesn't mean a thing, and it won't affect any real women, and it's all extreme politics. Basically, they are saying that this is not a significant precedent. The thing to remember is that IT WAS NEVER ABOUT ANYTHING REAL. From the made up name of "partial birth abortion" which does not describe anything doctors know about, to the widespread, deliberate misrepresentations that it only applies to third trimester abortions, or "late term abortions," another misnomer. It has been a fund-raising/PR strategy of the Far Right from the beginning, and it has succeeded beyond their wildest dreams, and our wildest nightmares. Although this is not reported on CNN or in your local papers, the anti's have vowed to ban abortion, procedure by procedure. This is the first, and D&E is next. Justice Kennedy invites that, in fact, with his gleefully graphic description of a D&E "dismemberment" of the fetus inside the womb. The idea is that if enough people are horrified by a procedure it can be banned.
If you have the time I really encourage you to read the decision itself and watch for all the anti-abortion rhetoric and blatant disrespect of women, who are seen as creatures who need protecting from their own choices. And this is the really significant precedent that unravels 30 years of jurisprudence: no health exception for women. Instead, they refer any conflicts between medical opinions, you will love this, to the state and federal legislatures. No comfort there unless maybe you live in NY, but it is an unnecessary invitation to the states to pass all kinds of laws restricting abortion. Michigan had three new anti-abortion bills on Thursday.
So, I am not trying to cry wolf here. This decision blows an ill wind.