Knoxville (WVLT) - A landmark decision Wednesday by the Supreme Court regarding abortion laws. A nationwide ban on a controversial abortion procedure has been upheld. Abortion rights groups say the ruling could threaten most abortions after 12 weeks, a procedure known as 'partial birth abortions' by opponents.
Volunteer TV's Allison Hunt spoke with activists here in East Tennessee on both sides of the issue.
"It's beyond abortion, it really is infanticide."
"There's been a continual onslaught and assault on women's rights over the years."
Two very different opinions, one very big decision.
In a five to four ruling, the Supreme Court says the 2003, partial birth abortion ban act does not violate a woman's constitutional right to an abortion.
"It should've been banned immediately because it's such a violent and barbaric act against unborn child and their mothers." As executive director of the Knox County Chapter of East Tennessee's Right to Life, Stacy Dunn has worked over 20 years to inform people about the sanctity of all human life...and says the ruling is a small step in the right direction. "We're happy that those babies are saved, now those babies will be saved and we'll work towards the day that all babies are saved."
But for Corinne Rovetti, the ruling is disturbing and unclear. "It doesn't really apply to a specific procedure that is being done and so it's kind of a broad decision about some abortions that are deemed very necessary."
As a reproductive rights activist for many years and the co-director of the Knoxville Center for Reproductive Health, she says the broad wording could have dangerous repercussions for women.
"Now, a physician doesn't have the choice to make the decisions as to what procedure is best for that particular woman, so the health of a woman could be in grave trouble," Rovetti says.
The ruling is likely to fuel state efforts to place more restrictions on abortions.