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Abortion Procedures Ban Found Unconstitutional for Second Time

A ruling by US District Judge Richard Casey of New York on Thursday found the Partial Birth Abortion Ban Act unconstitutional. Casey explained that the law, signed by President Bush in 2003, is not consistent with a prior Supreme Court ruling in 2000 that struck down a similar state law because it lacked an exception to preserve a woman’s health, the Associated Press reports. The National Abortion Federation sued to overturn the law, arguing that the language of the ban was so vague that it applied to a range of legal abortion procedures. The New York case represents the second time the abortion procedures ban has been found unconstitutional. A San Francisco US District judge came to the same conclusion on June 1, 2004, citing “undue burden” on a woman’s right to choose, CBSnews.com reports. A similar case is still pending in Nebraska. The Justice Department is planning to appeal the San Francisco decision, according to Reuters. Casey’s ruling held that the procedure, properly known as intact dilation and extraction, could not be outlawed unless there was a consensus in the medical field that there would never be a circumstance in which the procedure could benefit a woman, reports Reuters. Casey relied on the congressional record in his ruling, stating that nine medical associations opposed the abortion procedures ban because intact dilation and extraction does provide safety advantages for women in some circumstances, according to the Associated Press. DONATE to protect the right to a safe, legal abortion

Sources:

Associated Press 8/26/04; Reuters 8/26/04; CBSnews.com 8/26/04