Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Lissome Law department

As we move towards an era of more conservative courts, the threat of overturning Roe v. Wade becomes a clear and present concern. It is instructive to read what a former gynecologist has to say during the times when abortion was considered illegal.

Almost any implement you can imagine had been and was used to start an abortion — darning needles, crochet hooks, cut-glass salt shakers, soda bottles, sometimes intact, sometimes with the top broken off. Another method that I did not encounter, but heard about from colleagues in other hospitals, was a soap solution forced through the cervical canal with a syringe.

The worst case I saw, and one I hope no one else will ever have to face, was that of a nurse who was admitted with what looked like a partly delivered umbilical cord. Yet as soon as we examined her, we realized that what we thought was the cord was in fact part of her intestine, which had been hooked and torn by whatever implement had been used in the abortion. It took six hours of surgery to remove the infected uterus and ovaries and repair the part of the bowel that was still functional

A paper by Richard Posner, a judge who sits on the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals, and William Landes, a law professor at the University of Chicago estimateed that four of the five most conservative justices to serve on the Supreme Court since Franklin Roosevelt are currently sitting on the bench today. Full ranking at the end of this article:.

Francis Picabia, 'MI', oil and crayon on panel, 63" X 37", 1929 (from a Christie's auction booklet)

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