On Wednesday morning, the United States Supreme Court ruled 5-4 in favor of banning partial-birth abortions, regardless of the health of the mother. The Partial Birth Abortion Act had previously been passed by Congress in 2003, when the Senate and House of Representatives were both controlled by the Republican Party.
Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, the only female justice, said that Wednesday’s ruling “cannot be understood as anything other than an effort to chip away at a right declared again and again by this court.”
Amy Reichbach, a health educator at CSUN’s Klotz Student Health Center, said she did not think the ruling would affect many CSUN students because most pregnant patients she counsels make a decision during their first trimester, and thus are free to choose any option legally.
“We are extremely pro-choice ? and I will steer you along the way,” Reichbach said. “My job as a pregnancy counselor is to give you a reality check.”
She said that students haven’t approached her yet regarding the new ruling, and that the health center is not involved in a student’s pregnancy decisions beyond initial counseling. When counseling students, Reichbach said she utilizes “value clarification tools” to help patients determine what can be gained or lost with different reproductive decisions.
She said that at times the language used to describe partial birth abortions can be damaging to women who seek them or make the situation much more light and carefree than it actually is.
“I don’t think that any woman approaches this cavalierly,” Reichbach said. “For all the women I counsel, it is a very serious, grave situation they deal with.”