May 23,2007 00:00
WASHINGTON - Last month's U.S. Supreme Court ruling upholding a national ban on so-called partial birth abortion has encouraged abortion rights opponents to shift tactics.
Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy, who wrote the opinion for the 5-4 majority, acknowledged arguments by the conservative Justice Foundation that women who have abortions suffer long-term psychological damage. The anti-abortion rights movement has escalated a campaign for state laws that require women to be offered ultrasounds or information on fetal development, The New York Times reported.
Groups like the foundation and Feminists for Life have been developing those arguments for several years.
"We think of ourselves as very pro-woman," Wanda Franz, president of the National Right to Life Committee, told the Times. "We believe that when you help the woman, you help the baby."
Abortion rights advocates said that the proposed laws are an intrusion into the doctor-patient relationship.
"Informed consent is really a misleading way to characterize it," Roger Evans of Planned Parenthood said to the Times. "To me, what we'll see is an increasing attempt to push a state's ideology into a doctor-patient relationship, to force doctors to communicate more and more of the state's viewpoint."
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