Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Differing Interpretations

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by Karina
Web Editor
Planned Parenthood Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota Action Fund

The ACLU has a good explanation of Planned Parenthood v. Rounds the 8th circuit decision issued this past Friday, as well as discussion of similar precedence in other states.


The law also forces a doctor to tell his or her patient that she "has an existing relationship with that unborn human being" and if she has an abortion, "her existing relationship and her existing constitutional rights with regards to that relationship will be terminated."

The ACLU points out that a similar law was unanimously struck down in New Jersey.  It is quite stunning how different courts can interpret a law.  The New Jersey courts wrote:

We know of no common law duty requiring a physician to instruct the woman that the embryo is an ‘existing human being,' and suggesting that an abortion is tantamount to murder. There is not even remotely a consensus among New Jersey's medical community or citizenry that plaintiff's assertions are medical facts, as opposed to firmly held, moral philosophical and religious beliefs.

With the same law, the 8th circuit court came to the opposite conclusion. They must be versed in medicine, as well as law because somehow manage to determine that the law is supported by scientific, biological, fact-contrary to the New Jersey ruling's intepretation.

Via AP

Planned Parenthood has failed to show that the information to be given to women seeking abortions is untruthful, misleading or irrelevant to the woman's decision, the appeals court majority said. Taking into account definitions in the law, the information required to be given is biological in nature, so Planned Parenthood has not shown the information is ideological, the decision said.

Sarah Stoesz, President and CEO of Planned Parenthood Minnesota explained the final implications of this ruling:

[The] decision places South Dakota politicians between women and the doctors who care for them by requiring health care providers to deliver a state-mandated ideology," Stoesz said. "Planned Parenthood's top priorities are the health and safety of our patients, and we will continue to provide the best health care possible under the ruling.


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