And please, spare me the specious arguments based on the mother's health. To those making this argument, I would propose the following: how about banning all abortions except when the life of the mother is endangered? We all know how the pro-abortion lobby would react to this proposal. No, it's not about the health of the mother. Shed the pretence.
But this is also no time to pat the Bush administration on the back. True, Roberts and Alito made the right call in this case, but they have not stood up for the dignity of life in other cases (remember Hamden and the Geneva Conventions?). And, as most experts point out, the impact of this decision on the actual incidence of abortions will be negligible, while the carnage in Iraq continues to mount. Thank you indeed, George W. Bush.
But the most appalling reaction of all is the one that pins the blame on the Catholic faith of the aforementioned five justices for this decision. Cartoons are circulating of five Supreme Court justices wearing miters. As this link shows, the ugly anti-Catholic prejudice being generated by some on the left matches the old bigotry on the right portraying Catholics as agents on an insidious papacy. As reported by Mirror of Justice, one of the milder commentators, Geoffrey Stone from the Chicago law school put it as follows:
"What, then, explains this decision? Here is a painfully awkward observation: All five justices in the majority in Gonzales are Catholic. The four justices who are either Protestant or Jewish all voted in accord with settled precedent. It is mortifying to have to point this out. But it is too obvious, and too telling, to ignore."Incredible. Since when did respect for human life become a value specific to the Catholic faith? Could one not argue that the since the two Jewish justices dissented, there is something inherent in Judaism that supports infanticide? Of course, this would be a despicable and outrageous argument. And yet, when you replace "Judaism" with "Catholicism", common standards of decency simply fall down...