NRL News

“Unheard of” twist in case challenging Idaho’s Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act

by | Jun 7, 2012

By  Dave Andrusko

Jennie McCormack

Details are sketchy, but in an action that is being described as “unique” and “unheard of,”  a southeastern Idaho lawyer who is also a physician will be allowed to intervene in a challenge to the state’s Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act.

Rick Hearn has not practiced medicine in six years and has never performed an abortion. But according to CBS News, an unnamed federal judge granted Hearn’s motion to be “involved in the case as a plaintiff, in his role as a physician who might want to prescribe abortion drugs in the future.”

The case of Hearn’s client, Jennie Linn McCormack, overlaps several issues, which includes aborting a child capable of experiencing pain and the use of chemical abortifacients that she purchased over the Internet.   

McCormack said she thought she was about 12 weeks pregnant but was, in fact, 18-21 weeks pregnant. According to a story written for Newsweek by Nancy Hass, McCormack asked her sister to buy the RU486 over the Internet and send it to her (at a cost of around $200). No one, not even the craziest pro-abortionist, recommends using RU486 past the ninth week of pregnancy.

And when she saw the size of the baby she was scared, according to Hass. “She didn’t know what to do—‘I was paralyzed,’ she says—so she put it in a box on her porch, and, terrified, called a friend. That friend then called his sister, who reported McCormack to the police.”

Hass wrote that McCormack is “a bad case” for pro-abortionists.  “The fact that McCormack kept a 4-month-old fetus frozen in the winter chill on her back porch is the sort of ghoulish image pro-choice activists try to avoid,” she writes. That her baby was mid-to-late second-trimester doesn’t make her popular either. But her case is flawed on other grounds as well.

In the original complain McCormack’s attorney, Richard Hearn, argued that the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection fails to contain a “constitutionally acceptable exception” allowing for an abortion if necessary to preserve the health of the mother. That contention was rebutted by Dr. Sean Patrick Kenney, M.D., a board certified obstetrician/gynecologist, and assistant clinical professor at Creighton University School of Medicine in Omaha, Nebraska.

“The language of the law makes fully adequate provision for those rare cases, probably occurring no more than 1-2 times per 5,000 births, when medical complications require premature delivery or abortion of an unborn child after the stage at which the child is capable of feeling pain,” noted Dr. Kenney.

Complicating the case is that McCormack was originally charged under an Idaho law that makes it illegal for anyone other than a health care professional to be involved with ending a pregnancy. Hearn defended McCormack and the case was dismissed. A judge tossed the charges “without prejudice,” meaning in theory McCormack could face charges again at any time, although there has never been a hint that prosecutors have any interest in so doing.

According to CBS News, McCormack is challenging the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act “in an effort to avoid future prosecution.” Hearn said he “decided to join the lawsuit after U.S. District Judge B. Lynn Winmill ruled the suit wouldn’t get class action status and that McCormack didn’t have the right to challenge some aspects of the law because she wasn’t currently pregnant.”

The Abortion Establishment has not challenged any of the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Acts for the simple reason they know perfectly well  they might lose in the Supreme Court.

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Categories: Judicial