Thursday, July 21, 2022

American Taliban

The fallout from the American Supreme Court decision continues across the country. Jennifer Rubin writes:

The horror stories from state abortion bans are piling up: Women facing dangerous delays in care for miscarriages. Doctors violating their training and waiting until their patient is at death’s door before performing an abortion. Pharmacists struggling to understand whether filling prescriptions for drugs that are used both for abortions and for post-miscarriage treatment opens them up to criminal charges.

Katie Watson, a lawyer and ethicist at Northwestern University, tells me that without an abortion ban, a doctor telling a patient to wait for treatment until she becomes really sick would qualify as malpractice. She also warns that state laws may be “criminalizing” miscarriages since medications used to clear the uterus after a miscarriage, such as mifepristone and misoprostol, are also used for an abortion. Miscarrying women — and their doctors — could face intense scrutiny.

In short, the Supreme Court’s decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization has thrown out the basic premise of medicine: to minimize health risks. The ruling generated chaos among doctors, lawyers and patients, who must now wrestle with incoherent restrictions or bans.

And, amid the confusion, women have become second-class citizens. Americans rail against the Taliban in Afghanistan. It's clear that an American version of the Taliban is now pulling the strings in the United States.

Image: Facebook


Anonymous said...

Doctors willing to put their ethical obligations to patients above obeying unjust laws will need to step forward. Just so we're clear on what this will take, let's look at an example.

In Canada, we were very fortunate to have Dr Henry Morgenthaler, who performed abortions at private clinics in Quebec in violation of the law in the 1970s. Every time the government took him to trial, he raised the defence of necessity, and each time the jury acquitted him. He would argue that as a doctor, his duty was to safeguard the life and health of the women who came to him for abortions, which outweighed his duty to obey the law.

Eventually, the QC appeals court overturned his acquittal and convicted him to. This was upheld by the Supreme Court and Morgenthaler went to jail on an 18- month sentence.

But the appeals court overturning a jury acquittal was considered so unjust that the Trudeau government passed a law to deny appeals courts that power. The most they can do now is order a new trial. This shows that government action to limit the power of appeals courts can nevertheless be important.

But Morgenthaler wasn't done. He appealed the law that prevented him from running his clinics all the way to the Supreme Court, where he lost once again. He still didn't give up, and when the Charter passed into law, he appealed again. This time, the court struck down the abortion law, leaving it to the government to craft a replacement that would comply with the Charter. No such law was ever passed and so we have our current situation where abortion is considered a routine medical procedure that's up to a woman to decide. And no, this hasn't brought down a Götterdämmerung on Canada.


Owen Gray said...

It's going to be a long hard road ahead in the United States, Cap.

Lorne said...

As I recently wrote on a Twitter comment, Owen, theocracies, whether foreign or domestic, tend to roll the same way.

Owen Gray said...

I read a quote this morning, Lorne, attributed to Jaimie Raskin: "Senator, when you took your oath of office, you placed your hand on the Bible and swore to uphold the Constitution. You did not place your hand on the Constitution and swear to uphold the Bible.”


Anonymous said...

It's important to note what is happening to women's rights and safety from the left. Men are being placed in women's prisons (generally white men, and while the population is women's prisons is a high percentage of non-white). Women are losing their jobs for objecting to have to change in the same locker room as a fully intact male (who was not wearing underwear). Orwellian NewSpeak is everywhere, while the left claims that biology is either irrelevant or doesn't exist. Guidance from Planned Parent for protesting the bans on abortion in the US specifically NOT include the word woman. Women are getting hit hard from the right, and the left.

Anonymous said...

Sorry, initials on comment just submitted are SM

Owen Gray said...

I agree, SM. It's no wonder they're furious.