Supreme Court Will Hear Federal Abortion Case

Today, the Supreme Court announced that it will consider the Justice Department’s appeal of a ruling that a federal ban on abortions was unconstitutional. The case involves the Partial-Birth Abortion Act, passed by Congress in 2003, but never enforced. Circuit courts around the country considered challenges to the law and ruled it to be unconstitutional because of its lack of an exception for cases in which a woman’s health is in danger. The 9th Circuit Court furthermore found the language of the statute too vague to be enforced.

A similar Nebraska state law was struck down as unconstitutional by the Supreme Court with a 5-4 vote in 2000, with Sandra Day O’Connor in the slim majority. Samuel Alito, who has replaced O’Connor on the Supreme Court, has said that the Constitution does not protect a woman’s right to an abortion.

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Associated Press 2/21/06; Feminist Daily News 2/1/06; Reuters 2/21/06

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