Since the so-called Partial Birth Abortion Ban Act was signed into law by President Bush in 2003, it has been successfully challenged in three states—California, New York and Nebraska—as being unconstitutional, and never enforced. Now, US Solicitor General Paul Clement, has filed an appeal of the ruling in the Nebraska case, Gonzales v. Carhart, which could reach the US Supreme Court as early as next spring.
In a similar case (Stenberg v. Carhart) in 2000, the Court ruled 5-4 to declare unconstitutional Nebraska’s state law against the procedure, because it didn’t provide an exception to protect a pregnant woman’s health. The federal abortion procedure ban also lacks a health exception.
The latest appeal—along with a forthcoming Supreme Court case, Ayotte v. Planned Parenthood of Northern New England, which would reinstate New Hampshire’s parental notification law—should be the first tests of how the newly constituted Court will deal with abortion issues. The Bush Administration has also filed a brief supporting New Hampshire’s parental notification law, which feminists believe severely threatens the health and welfare of young women.