Kansans for Life © 2015

Issues Home Quotes from the U.S. Supreme Court Supportive of the Dismemberment Ban

In 2007

"[t]he fact that a law which serves a valid purpose, one not designed to strike at the right itself, has the incidental effect of making it more difficult or more expensive to procure an abortion cannot be enough to invalidate it…The government may use its voice and its regulatory authority to show its profound respect for the life within the woman."Gonzales v. Carhart, 550 U.S. 124, 157

"No one would dispute that, for many, D&E is a procedure itself laden with the power to devalue human life." Gonzales v. Carhart, 550 U.S. 124, 158

"It is a reasonable inference that a necessary effect of the regulation and the knowledge it conveys will be to encourage some women to carry the infant to full term, thus reducing the absolute number of late-term abortions. The medical profession, furthermore, may find different and less shocking methods to abort the fetus in the second trimester, thereby accommodating legislative demand." Gonzales v. Carhart, 550 U.S. 124, 160

"The Court has given state and federal legislatures wide discretion to pass legislation in areas where there is medical and scientific uncertainty." Gonzales v. Carhart, 550 U.S. 124, 163

In 2000

"The political processes of the State are not to be foreclosed from enacting laws to promote the life of the unborn and to ensure respect for all human life and its potential. Id., at 871 (joint opinion of O'Connor, Kennedy, and Souter, JJ.). The State's constitutional authority is a vital means for citizens to address these grave and serious issues, as they must if we are to progress in knowledge and understanding and in the attainment of some degree of consensus." Kennedy writing for DISSENT, Stenberg v. Carhart, 530 U.S. 914, 958

"The fetus, in many cases, dies just as a human adult or child would: It bleeds to death as it is torn limb from limb. The fetus can be alive at the beginning of the dismemberment process and can survive for a time while its limbs are being torn off. ... Dr. Carhart has observed fetal heartbeat via ultrasound with 'extensive parts of the fetus removed,'...' At the conclusion of a D&E abortion no intact fetus remains. In Dr. Carhart's words, the abortionist is left with 'a tray full of pieces.'" Kennedy writing for DISSENT, Stenberg v. Carhart, 530 U.S. 914, 958-959

"States also have an interest in forbidding medical procedures which, in the State's reasonable determination, might cause the medical profession or society as a whole to become insensitive, even disdainful, to life, including life in the human fetus." Kennedy writing for DISSENT, Stenberg v. Carhart, 530 U.S. 914, 961

"A State may take measures to ensure the medical profession and its members are viewed as healers, sustained by a compassionate and rigorous ethic and cognizant of the dignity and value of human life, even life which cannot survive without the assistance of others." Kennedy writing for DISSENT, Stenberg v. Carhart, 530 U.S. 914, 962

"The Court fails to acknowledge substantial authority allowing the State to take sides in a medical debate, even when fundamental liberty interests are at stake and even when leading members of the profession disagree with the conclusions drawn by the legislature. In Kansas v. Hendricks, 521 U.S. 346 (1997), we held that disagreements among medical professionals "do not tie the State's hands in setting the bounds of … laws. In fact, it is precisely where such disagreement exists that legislatures have been afforded the widest latitude." Id., at 360, n. 3." Kennedy writing for DISSENT, Stenberg v. Carhart, 530 U.S. 914, 970

Kansans for Life © 2015