Skip to comments.New rhetoric in SCOTUS abortion ruling (Ginsgerg: Stop calling a 2nd trimester "fetus" a "baby")
Posted on 04/19/2007 9:56:32 AM PDT by presidio9
Ever since Roe v. Wade in 1973, graphic descriptions of abortion have been staples of abortion opponents. Abortion rights advocates have preferred more scientific terms. Neither is by accident.
The Supreme Court adopted the more graphic approach Wednesday as a conservative majority of justices upheld a nationwide ban on a controversial abortion procedure.
"The way in which the fetus will be killed ... is of legitimate concern" to the government, the majority said.
In opinions after Roe v. Wade, the decision saying a woman has a constitutional right to abortion, clinical terminology has been the order of the day at the court.
All that changed in 2000, when Justice Anthony Kennedy described abortion procedures in painstaking detail. He did so as a dissenter in Stenberg v. Carhart, the ruling striking down Nebraska's ban on what opponents call partial-birth abortions.
"Repeated references to sources understandable only to a trained physician may obscure matters for persons not trained in medical terminology," Kennedy wrote in 2000. "Thus it seems necessary at the outset to set forth what may happen during an abortion."
Kennedy then explained abortion procedures in explicit terms that hadn't been seen previously at the court. The break with tradition prompted Justice John Paul Stevens to note in a concurring opinion, "Much ink is spilled today describing the gruesome nature of late-term abortion procedures."
Kennedy returned to form Wednesday when he wrote the decision of the court.
"It is self-evident that a mother who comes to regret her choice to abort must struggle with grief more anguished and sorrow more profound when she learns ... what she once did not know: that she allowed a doctor to pierce the skull and vacuum the fast-developing brain of her unborn child," Kennedy wrote.
In a forceful dissent, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg suggested that Kennedy's word-choice goes too far.
"Throughout, the opinion refers to obstetrician-gynecologists and surgeons who perform abortions not by the titles of their medical specialties, but by the pejorative label `abortion doctor,'" wrote Ginsburg. "A fetus is described as an 'unborn child,' and as a 'baby;' second-trimester, previability abortions are referred to as 'late-term.'"
Has anyone ever actually seen Ginsberg with anything but a scowl on her face, under any circumstances?
She seems to be a rather miserable human being.
So Ruth, abortion is all about terminology. Does it make you feel all warm and cozy inside to promote killing a “fetus” instead of a “baby”?
It interesting that the Court's self-appointed expert justice on medical technology and terminology is unaware that second trimester abortions are previability abortions no longer.
I also wonder: if Ginsburg's granddaughter Clara had been born at 35 weeks of gestation, would Ginsburg have told her friends: "My daughter just gave birth! I'm on my way to vist her and the new fetus!"
I’d say that SCOTUS should endeavor to use clear, common language as much as possible, so that the people its ruling affects have a hope of understand them.
Give the following common phrases:
“When is the baby due?”
“What sex is the baby?”
“What are you going to name the baby?”
“The baby just kicked!”
“The baby is pressing on my bladder.”
...then referring to the third trimester viable fetus as a baby is most clear and correct.
I thought I saw Ginsberg sitting behind home plate at the Red Sox - Blue Jays game Tuesday night. But it was Geddy Lee from RUSH. If you look like Ruth Buzzy Ginsberg are you still really a Rock Star?
The way this is worded by the majority seems to imply there is a right/approved way of killing a fetus.
Those are those times she is falling asleep.
Ginsburg is an unviable tissue mass.
“She seems to be a rather miserable human being.”
She’s hated life since Foghorn Leghorn dropped her.
Buzzy didn’t have problem when the Court played “scientist” on the CO2 ruling fiasco.
“If you look like Ruth Buzzy Ginsberg are you still really a Rock Star?”
See any member of the Rolling Stones, draw your own conclusion.
It just occured to me that nobody has ever seen Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Geddy Lee in the same place at the same time.
But then I remembered that Ginsburg wears glasses, and Geddy does not, so they can’t possibly be the same person.
“Has anyone ever actually seen Ginsberg with anything but a scowl on her face, under any circumstances?”
“Those are those times she is falling asleep.”
Thats gas, my friend.
Ginsgerg should know that nobody likes legalese and we're going to keep possession of the language regardless of opinions of how far syntax is bent to the needs of the day.
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