Monday, March 13, 2006

Just a Small Point About "Enumeration"

In the firestorm of discussions about the SD abortion law, a number of highly relevant questions are emerging about the precious few that might fall under the vaguely expressed exceptions.

From the bill:

[T]he physician shall make reasonable medical efforts under the circumstances to preserve both the life of the mother and the life of her unborn child in a manner consistent with conventional medical practice.

In defense of the bill, supporters are claiming that this clause will allow for abortion when the woman's health is gravely endangered by any number of complications that can arise.

And it strikes me -- for a crowd SO eager to sing the praises of enumerated powers (especially those that aren't, like, say.... PRIVACY) they sure have played fast and loose with this so-called exception clause. They'll claim, in political circles, that various scenarios can easily be accommodated under this exception, but should this atrocity ever become functional law, they'll go on prosecutorial orgy when doctors abort for reasons they don't find "life-threatening".

A particularly good point was made elsewhere in a comment thread that the SD legislature likely thought not an instant about women whose pregnancies don't necessarily threaten their lives immediately, but for whom the long-lasting affects of pregnancy can significantly reduce their health if not kill them prematurely (cardiac patients, diabetics etc). Excellent observation, I say. How would Mr. Napoli respond, I wonder?

I can just see the efforts, a decade post-Roe, in which analysts start pointing to the increase in women's mortality in prohibitive states like SD. Given the GOP's embrace of global warming data, just how quick do you think they'll be to see this new connection?

Yeah. Right.

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