NRL News

Further reflections on the decision striking down Idaho’s Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act

by | Mar 8, 2013

By Dave Andrusko

Jennie Linn McCormack sits with her attorney, Richard Hearn.

Jennie Linn McCormack sits with her attorney, Richard Hearn.

From our benighted opposition’s point of view, the decision by a federal judge Wednesday to overturn Idaho’s Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act  might well be an example of  “be careful what you wish for.”

Giddy with success, Jessica Mason Pieklo, Senior Legal Analyst, for the pro-abortion site, announced that “Like the Ninth Circuit decision before it, this decision clearly lays the case against over-zealous anti-choice legislation.”

For good measure she ends her analysis with a statement from Cecile Richards, president of Planned Parenthood and the Planned Parenthood Action Fund: “This ruling is a warning to other states around the country passing bans on abortion that are unconstitutional and dangerous for women.”

NRL News Today analyzed the 42-page decision of Judge B. Lynn Winmill of the United States District Court for the District of Idaho in considerable depth yesterday ( But based on Pieklo’s triumphant analysis and the simple fact that there was more to cover but I ran out of time, here are a few more wrinkles.

#1. This case was about Jennie Lynn McCormack who self-aborted using some unspecified abortifacient pills purchased over the Internet in 2010. Think about this for a second. (A) She was roughly 18-21 weeks pregnant and she used who knows what ordered by her sister over the Internet. Not much quality control there, wouldn’t you say? (B) Even the craziest pro-abortionists are leery about using RU-486 (the likely abortifacient) much past 9 weeks, certainly past 11 weeks. THIS was “dangerous for women,” in this case Ms. McCormack, who has three living children.

#2. We talked about how Judge Winmill jumped through a variety of hoops to give McCormack standing to challenge the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act (she aborted before it became law in Idaho) and her lawyer/physician, Richard Hearn, who hasn’t practiced medicine in 16 years. You read Judge Winmill’s decision and, honestly, what jumps out of you is that he is incredibly cavalier about the unchecked, expansive dare I say casual use of chemical abortifacients. If Hearn says he can safely chemically abort a woman well into the second trimester (you can’t tell from Winmill’s decision how far Hearn said he would do abortions, if the law is struck), that’s good enough for the judge.

#3. Next week our expert on chemical abortions, Director of Education Dr. Randall K. O’Bannon, will critique Judge Winmill’s commentary about the use of chemical abortifacients. Again, what strikes me, having written about RU486 for seemingly forever, is that Winmill uncritically accepts the assurances of pro-abortion organizations and researchers that it’s okay to use abortifacients later and later and later in pregnancy. However, according to an FDA document released in 2011, there have already been at least 19 women die after attempting to abort with RU-486, at least 2,200 suffering significant enough “adverse events” to be reported, and at least 612 women requiring hospitalization. And those grim results are, for the most part one would assume, under the “conservative” use of RU-486.

#4. There’s lots more, but one last observation for now. Frankly, I don’t believe for one second most/much/any of the Abortion Establishment is necessarily happy McCormack/Hearn pushed and pushed and pushed. Winmill’s decision could be reviewed by the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals (which, by the way, held McCormack did NOT have standing to challenge the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act), and, if so, at one point, hopefully by the Supreme Court.

They tell us they are confident about the Court—and then on other occasions they are more honest: the Supreme Court, as presently constituted, may be less callous to the suffering of highly developed unborn children than the likes of Pieklo and Richards.

Stay tuned!

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Categories: Judicial