Women's groups are incensed – incensed! Patriarchal Supreme Court Justices are after our rights! If we don't have the right to puncture unborn children's skulls moments from birth, women cannot live freely.
But what does the Supreme Court's shifting gears to uphold a national ban on the partial birth abortion procedure really bode for women? Is it really a slippery slope back to the bad old days? Most women leaders purporting to represent women have an opinion, believe you me.
A few hours after learning of the decision, Senator Diane Feinstein took to the Senate Floor to rally America's abortion activists: "If I were a young woman today, I would be incredibly concerned that this era is drawing to a close. The threat to reproductive freedom is no longer theoretical.. All those who care about protecting a woman's right to privacy should take notice and make their voices heard."
In her dissent, Justice Ginsburg, attacked Justice Kennedy's expressed doubts that the procedure placed a difficult moral burden upon women. She said of his comments, "this way of thinking reflects ancient notions about women's place in the family and under the Constitution – ideas that have long since been discredited."
Planned Parenthood president Cecile Richards called Wednesday "a dark day for women's health and safety."
National Organization of Women President Kim Gandy rallied her troops: "We must elect a Congress that will repeal this ban and a president who will sign the repeal. November 2008 can't come soon enough."
Presidential Candidate Hillary Clinton vehemently denounced the Supreme Court's decision and its conservative majority, saying: "This decision marks a dramatic departure from four decades of Supreme Court rulings that upheld a woman's right to choose and recognized the importance of women's health...It is precisely this erosion of our constitutional rights that I warned against when I opposed the nominations of Chief Justice Roberts and Justice Alito."
And yet Americans are overwhelmingly supportive of the ban – so are all Americans out to get women? Polls showing women's support of the ban would suggest that the majority of women are endangering their own rights.