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A Voice in the Wilderness

As nightfall does not come at once, neither does oppression. In both instances, there's a twilight where everything remains seemingly unchanged, and it is in such twilight that we must be aware of change in the air, however slight, lest we become unwitting victims of the darkness. -- William O. Douglas

Monday, October 03, 2005

A Bush Joke


When asked, "Mr. President, what are your thoughts on Roe versus Wade?"

He responded, "I don't really care how they get out of New Orleans."

Double click on the image for an larger picture.

7 Comments:

At Tue Oct 04, 01:00:00 PM MDT, Blogger Liquidplastic said...

I think this is an insult to the Monkeys, then again ... it good to see George's real family tree. Huh ... I wonderful if Bush Sr. knows that he's not George real father? Oh well ... genetics, go figure!

Nice to see you posting again ...

 
At Tue Oct 04, 08:13:00 PM MDT, Blogger SaffronSaris said...

I read up on Roe vs Wade years ago for a class assignment, but never really understood the significance of it. Could you explain?

 
At Wed Oct 05, 12:42:00 AM MDT, Blogger The Voice said...

Saffronsaris,

Here is a great summary I found:

"In 1970 a pregnant, unmarried woman sought to have the Texas anti-abortion statute, first enacted in the 1850s, declared unconstitutional. To protect her anonymity she was given the fictitious name Jane Roe. The initial action was against Henry Wade, District Attorney of Dallas County, Texas. Roe claimed that the statute was unconstitutionally vague and violated her right of privacy as guaranteed by the First, Fourth, Fifth, Ninth, and Fourteenth Amendments. The case was argued before the Supreme Court in December of 1971, reargued in October of 1972.

In January of 1973 the case was decided by the U.S. Supreme Court. A majority of 7 to 2 declared the Texas statute unconstitutional. Justice Harry Blackmun, an appointee of President Richard Nixon, wrote the opinion for the majority. Justice William Rehnquist, another Nixon appointee - who later became Chief Justice and just recently passed away from a prolonged bout of Cancer - filed a dissenting opinion. Justice White concurred with Justice Rehnquist.

A majority on the Court agreed that Roe had a right of privacy based on the 14th amendment and on earlier Supreme Court decisions. They also agreed that this right was "broad enough to encompass a woman's decision whether or not to terminate her pregnancy." However, they denied that this right was "absolute" (i.e., that "she is entitled to terminate her pregnancy at whatever time, in whatever way, and for whatever reason she alone chooses.") There were compelling state interests in "safeguarding health" and "protecting potential life" that could justify regulation.

The Trimester Framework

The decision outlined a trimester framework as a way to sort and balance these varied interests. The framework limited state regulation as follows:

* No interference during the first trimester of pregnancy
* Regulation allowed after the first trimester to protect the health of the mother
* Regulation allowed during the third trimester (i.e., after "viability") to protect "fetal life" except when abortion is "necessary to preserve the life or health of the mother."

The opinion also stated that the judiciary is "not in a position to speculate" as to when "life begins" and that the Constitution does not use the word "person" in a way that indicates "with any assurance, that it has any possible pre-natal application."
After Roe

Nearly all state laws against abortion became unenforceable after Roe. In a series of decisions, many new state regulations were struck down. For example, a woman could not be required to obtain the consent of her child's father. A minor could not be required in all cases to obtain the consent of her parents. On the other hand, those who were opposed to abortion also had some success. Federal funding of abortions was greatly restricted.

During the 1980s, appointments by President Ronald Reagan changed the Court's philosophical makeup and suggested that Roe might be overturned or limited in the future. A major shift was evident in the 1989 decision in William Webster v. Reproductive Health Services.

In Webster the Court upheld a Missouri law that restricted the performance of abortions in public hospitals to cases in which the mother's life was threatened. The law also required tests for viability if the physician believed that the fetus was at least 20 weeks old. Justice Rehnquist called the trimester framework unsound and unworkable. Webster was interpreted on every side of the political debate as a turning point.

The Court has gone on to allow some minor adjustments to Roe. In July of 1992, in Planned Parenthood v. Casey, it upheld several provisions in a Pennsylvania law on abortion. While not overturning Roe, the decision allowed certain restrictions even in the first trimester if they did not constitute an "undue burden." Future decisions may return even greater control of abortion to state legislatures as the meaning of "undue burden" is clarified."

This is the most succinct summary I have found - I hope it helps.

Joe

 
At Fri Oct 14, 03:23:00 PM MDT, Blogger M said...

This is just to say hi, J. Hope you're doing ok. You've been very quiet lately.

:-)

 
At Sat Oct 15, 04:59:00 PM MDT, Blogger Beaver said...

Hi Joe :)

Just wanted you to know I'm still here ! With less time on my hands, I barely have time to visit. Doesn't mean I don't think of you :)

Take care and keep doing that thing you do !

M. aka the Beaver

 
At Sat Oct 22, 06:56:00 PM MDT, Blogger Paul said...

Will you be back soon?

 
At Sat Oct 29, 08:50:00 AM MDT, Blogger The Voice said...

mj, beaver, amias and paul,

Thanks for still visiting - I have been very busy with my daughter's wedding and other issues that have demanded the lion's share of my time. I will be posting regularly - hopefully soon but I have a couple of other major tasks to complete - Then I will be back.

It appears as though our great leader is up to his ass on alligators - and that suits me just fine. I figured the American public wasn't really that stupid. It turns out that you can't keep all of the people fooled all of the time.

Be safe my friends and I will chat with you soon. Drop me an e-mail and I most definitely will respond in kind.

Joe

 

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