Monthly Archives: August 2018

Taking the low road: Alabama judge invites dismembering abortion rights

Judge Edward Earl Carnes of the Eleventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals, in Alabama, wrote up a “Kavanaugh case”–dripping with loaded words and clearly inviting the U.S. Supreme Court, once bulked up with Judge Kavanaugh, to overrule the Eleventh Circuit and ultimately to take apart, piece by piece, 45 years of abortion rights in the United States. Carnes has accumulated a highly controversial record on civil rights.

The Eleventh Circuit case concerns whether Alabama can so severely restrict use of a dilation and evacuation procedure, formerly called dilation and extraction, as to effectively ban it in second-trimester abortions. Citing precedents from the Supreme Court, the three judges from the Eleventh Circuit agreed with a district court decision that Alabama cannot do so.

The opinion written by Judge Carnes reeks with religious prejudice and vicious sarcasm. From the State of Alabama arguments, Carnes adopted the pejorative term “dismemberment abortion” instead of the medical term “dilation and evacuation procedure” and adopted the religiously prejudiced term “unborn child” instead of the medical term “fetus.”

Then Judge Carnes tried to ridicule prior decisions from the U.S. Supreme Court. For example, citing Stenberg v. Carhart [530 U.S. 914, 2000] and supposedly summarizing the recent, challenged Alabama law, he wrote on pages 3 and 4, “Killing an unborn child and then dismembering it is permitted; killing an unborn child by dismembering it is not.”

In citing the prior Supreme Court case, Judge Carnes quoted only from a dissent in the case, written by the late Justice Scalia, criticizing what Scalia called “the Court’s inclination to bend the rules when any effort to limit abortion, or even to speak in opposition to abortion, is at issue.” Carnes is clearly charting a course for dismembering abortion rights, extending from Roe v. Wade [410 U.S. 113, 1973].

– Craig Bolon, Brookline, MA, August 22, 2018


West Alabama Women’s Center et al. v. Williamson et al., U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit, Case no. 17-15208, August 22, 2018

John Eidsmoe, Foundation condemns inhumanity of Eleventh Circuit decision striking down Alabama ban on intact D&E abortions, Foundation for Moral Law (Montgomery, AL), August 22, 2018

Stephanie Akin, Anti-abortion group doubles down on Kavanaugh after he told Susan Collins Roe is ‘settled law’, Roll Call (Washington, DC), August 21, 2018

Unattributed editorial, The red-state war on abortion rights, Boston Globe, April 23, 2018