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Teen Health 411
Teen Health 411

Supreme Court Restricts Women's Reproductive Freedom

I cannot believe that our nation's highest court has permitted itself to be a tool of the anti-choice movement instead of preserving a woman's constitutionally protected right to make childbearing choices in consultation with medical care providers.

On April 18 in a 5-4 decision the Supreme Court upheld a federal abortion ban enacted by Congress and signed by President GW Bush in 2003. The law, titled the "Partial Birth Abortion Act," criminalizes abortions in the second trimester of pregnancy, even if the abortion would be safe and protect a woman's health.

The decision reverses every federal court that has reviewed the law up to date, all of which had struck down the law because of its failure to protect the woman's health. The decision April 18, 2007 represents a serious erosion of the precedent supporting a woman's right to bodily autonomy and choice articulated by the court in 1973 in Woe v. Wade. The Justices in the majority opinion were Anthony Kennedy, Clarence Thomas, Antonin Scalia, and both new Bush conservative appointees, Samuel Alito and John Roberts.

Photo Credit: alexandralee

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About the Author

Dr. Brown is a developmental psychologist specializing in adolescent health.