A victory for women’s rights and abortion rights came Thursday when appeals courts in Michigan, Illinois and Wisconsin overturned the states’ abortion procedure bans. The law in each of these states also penalized the doctor who would perform the procedure with harsh criminal sentences up to life in prison. The decisions by the states’ appeals courts followed a June 2000 ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court that struck down Nebraska’s abortion procedure ban (Carhart vs. Stenberg), calling the ban a violation of women’s constitutional rights and an “undue burden” on women seeking abortions. This Supreme Court case was won by a slim 5-4 margin. The appeals courts in Michigan, Illinois and Wisconsin ruled the law was no different than the one in Nebraska, and should be overturned.