I'd meant to post this a while back, when I first blogged on the subject. This is a small glimmer of the magnificence which was Keyes' in-person remarks at the Colorado Capitol in April. There's a DVD available from Colorado Right to Life (linked) if you're interested in hearing the whole thing.
I'm posting a teaser for the article, which can be found in its entirety at: http://www.renewamerica.us/columns/keyes/070428
Gardeners of evil
April 28, 2007
Shortly after the U.S. Supreme Court issued its ruling in Gonzales v. Carhart (the case that involved a challenge to the federal law restricting so-called partial birth abortion), I received an email reporting the decision with a copy of the ruling attached.
Unlike many whom the media identify as leaders in the pro-life movement, I felt no inclination to leap for joy at the news that the Court's opinion upheld the constitutionality of the law.In the first place, I have never been convinced that the legislative action in question had much significance for the pro-life cause. I believe it was mostly intended to provide cover for pro-abortion Republican politicians, who could offer their vote for the PBA restriction as a fig leaf to cover the shame of their supposedly pro-life supporters who put partisan politics above their obligations of conscience. In the second place, it seemed unwise to react to the decision before carefully considering the argument that produced it.
Having done so, I cannot join in, or even understand, the approbation which others have expressed for this decision. It is in fact an abominable affirmation of the Court's unconstitutional decisions in Roe and Casey. With grotesquely meticulous care, the man whose pivotal vote preserved so-called abortion rights in the Casey decision (Justice Kennedy) carves out an exception intended to prove and strengthen the rules set forth in Roe and Casey.
As my good friend Judie Brown put it recently (at a Colorado Right To Life dinner in Denver), Kennedy played the part of a skillful gardener, cutting back the evil planted by Roe/Casey in order to strengthen and extend its roots, hoping no doubt to make it harder to overturn in any subsequent ruling. While allowing for a state interest in restricting one brutal way of murdering the nascent child, he makes it clear that this restriction is tolerable under Roe/Casey only because abortionists still have access to other equally brutal modes of killing.
At one point, with what seems like dogged satisfaction, Kennedy describes such an alternative in almost clinical detail, no doubt because he knows that in doing so he implicates all the justices who join his reasoning in explicit support for the right to use this alternative to kill the child, even though it is just as horrendous as the one restricted by the "partial birth" legislation.
To read more of this article, the link is here: http://www.renewamerica.us/columns/keyes/070428