The new federal law banning a procedure that the government calls partial-birth abortion compromises reproductive choice for women, and is vague and unconstitutional, a lawyer argued yesterday in Federal District Court in New York, echoing statements made in California and Nebraska as challenges to the law went to trial across the country. In defense of the law, the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act, Bush administration lawyers said the procedure was never medically necessary to protect a woman's health and caused undue pain to the fetus, making the procedure inhumane.
The two sides squared off in federal courts over suits brought by doctors and abortion rights groups against the act, which President Bush signed into law in November. In pretrial hearings, the cases drew considerable national attention as the government tried to subpoena medical records of abortions from hospitals. In all three lawsuits release of those records have been temporarily prohibited, either by appellate courts or a district judge.
At issue is the ban that criminalizes a procedure called intact dilation and extraction, which can be used to terminate pregnancies after the first trimester. Any "overt act" to "kill the partially delivered living fetus" is banned, punishable by up to two years in prison, report nytimes.com
Monday in U.S. District Court in New York, echoing statements made in California and Nebraska as challenges to the law went to trial across the country.
In defense of the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act, lawyers for the Bush administration said the procedure was never medically necessary to protect a woman's health and caused undue pain to the fetus, making the procedure inhumane.
The two sides squared off in federal courts over lawsuits brought by doctors and abortion-rights groups against the act, which the president signed into law in November, dailynews.com
The ban fails to consider a woman's health, which the U.S. Supreme Court already ruled unconstitutional when it considered a similar Nebraska law in 2000. Worse, politicians are inserting themselves into what should be a private decision made by a woman in consultation with her doctor.
The procedure is most often used when a woman in her second trimester confronts tragic and unforeseen circumstances. The American Medical Association and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists both oppose the ban.
Congress seems intent on keeping the abortion issue on the field as a political football. The courts should let them know that this particular game is over, according to mercurynews.com
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