of the statutes have been upheld, mostrnnotably in the aptly titled Hope Clinic v.rnRyan decision rendered in late October.rnWriting for a sharply divided majority ofrnthe United States Court of Appeals forrnthe Seventh Circuit, Judge Frank Easterbrookrn(one of the most intellectually giftedrnfederal judges) declared that the bansrnon partial-birth abortion in Illinois, Wisconsin,rnand Indiana met constitutionalrnmuster. They imposed no imdue burdenrnon women’s rights, said Easterbrook, becausernthe statutes contained an exceptionrnwhere the life of the mother was in danger,rnbecause the purpose of the statutesrnwas clear enough, because other meansrnof abortion were available, and becausernthere was credible medical evidence thatrnthere were no health benefits to the partial-rnbirth abortion method.rnOther federal circuit courts, passing onrnthe same issue, had found an “unduernburden” to be present on the groundsrnthat the statutes provided no exceptionsrnfor preserving the health of the motherrn(which could, conceivably, include thernpreservation of mental health by freeingrnthe mother from the stress of raising anotherrnchild). Some of these courts alsorntook the position that there was adequaternmedical evidence that partial-birth abortionrnwas, in some cases, safer for thernmother than other forms of late-pregnancyrntermination (such as, for instance, dilatingrnthe uterus, then inserting instrumentsrnto kill and dismember the fetusrnwhile it is entirely inside the womb, beforernextracting it piece by piece). In anrnunusually blistering dissent in the HopernClinic case, Chief Judge Richard Posnerrn(also a gifted jurist, and Easterbrook’s formerrncolleague at the University of ChicagornLaw School), sided with the courtsrnwhich had found an “undue burden” inrnpartial-birth abortion prohibitions. Posnerrneven went so far as to state that the realrnpurpose of partial-birth abortionrnstatutes was to cast doubt upon the constitutionalrnreasoning of the SupremernCourt itself ]ustso.rnThe conflict in the federal comtsrnmeans that the Supreme Court will probablyrnhave to resolve the dispute; if thernCourt does not duck the issue, we can expectrna partial-birth abortion decisionrnwithin a couple of years. Like so manyrnother issues in constitutional law, thisrnone may well turn on who is appointingrnSupreme Court justices beginning inrnJanuar)’ 2001. A decision on partial-birthrnabortion would also offer the Court anrnopportunit}’ to abandon the maddeningrn”undue burden” standard, or even tornoverturn Roe v. Wade itself CatherinernWeiss, director of the ACLU ReproductivernFreedom Project, called Judge Easterbrook’srnopinion in Hope Clinic “lieartbreakiirg.”rnCollen Council, anotherrnACLU lawyer, said it was “radical.” ButrnState Senator Scott Fitzgerald, who wroternthe Wisconsin law upheld in Hope Clinic,rnlabeled Easterbrook’s decisionrn”groundbreaking,” and Wisconsin’s attorneyrnin the case said it was “well-reasoned.”rnThe New York Times arguedrnthat the decision was “a serious assault onrnthe reproductive freedom guaranteedrnwomen.” Janet Benshoof, president ofrnthe Center for Reproductive Law andrnPolicy, claimed that Hope Clinic had declaredrn”that fetuses throughout pregnancyrnare more important than women.”rnBOOK OF NEXT MONTHrnOur book for next month is The Sun AlsornRises, Ernest Hemingway’s first and bestrnnovel, which was published in 1926.rnJake Barnes, rendered impotentrnby World War I, tries to retain his ,^^rnmanhood by doing his job, fishing «Hrnwith the boys, and living by his code. ^rnThe story of his failures makes this thernmost nearly perfect novel written by anrnAmerican.rn^31^rn^^^^^^^^^^^^HrnMs. Benshoof also stated that “[T]his isrntire Republican Part)’ platform at work”rnand, with presumably unintended irony,rnthat “This is judicial activism run amok.”rnThe real running amok occurred inrn1973, of course, and the frenzy of HopernClinic’s critics may indicate their fearrnthat a future Supreme Court may comernto that realization.rn— Stephen B. PresserrnO B I T E R DICTA: Your dream vacationrnin Montenegro may become a realityrnif tentative plans we are making comernto pass. Orthodox Church leaders in thernformer Yugoslavia have proposed a jointrnconference with The Rockford Instituternto discuss the decline of the West andrnwhat it means for the world. Participantsrnwould include Chronicles editor ThomasrnFleming and foreign affairs editor SrdjarnTrifkovic, as well as several leading Serbianrnintellectuals. The tentative date isrnin late Januar)’. Two sessions would bernheld, one in Belgrade, the other in Montenegro.rnConference attendees wouldrnalso have the chance to study the art treasuresrnof ancient churches and monasteriesrnin the region as well as to view uprnclose the results of the NATO attack. Forrnfurther information, please call AaronrnWolfat (815) 964-5811.rnTwo poets grace our pages this month.rnBrian Kirkpatrick is a physician andrnneuroscientist who lives in Baltimore.rnAn occasional contributor to the Correspondencernsection oi Chronicles (most recentlyrnin November 1999), Dr. Kirkpatrickrnis completing a novel.rnConstance Rowell Mastores of Oakland,rnCalifornia, is our second poet thisrnmonth. Her poetr)’ has appeared in thernLyric, Press, Blue Unicorn, Boulevard,rnand Artweek, among others.rnChronicles is illustrated this month byrnSt. Petersburg native Anatol Woolf, who,rnin addition to freelance work, has designedrnsets for theaters in Russia and providedrnillustrations for St. Petersburg TextbookrnPublishers. Since coming tornAmerica in 1987, Mr. Woolf has been arnfrequent contributing artist to Chronicles,rnas well as to the Washington Post, thernWashington Times, Policy Review, NationalrnGeographic Traveler, Ixgal Times,rnand Cricket. Mr. Woolf works with a varietyrnof materials, from watercolors tornpencil to acrylic. Further samples of hisrnwork are available on his Web page:rnvAvw.netcom.coml~a.woolfl.rnJANUARY 2000/9rnrnrn