Ohio Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Gets Federal Court Approval
by Steven Ertelt
December 17, 2003
Cincinnati, OH (LifeNews.com) — An Ohio ban on partial-birth abortions received approval from a federal appeals court on Wednesday, with the judges saying that the state could enforce the pro-life law.
"Ohio’s new statute does not violate the Constitution in any respect," the three-judge panel of the U.S. Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals wrote in its 2-1 decision.
However, Alphonse Gerhardstein, an attorney representing abortion practitioner Martin Haskell, the inventor of the abortion method who challenged the ban, says he will appeal the appeals court’s decision and ask the full circuit court to render a decision.
"This method of abortion is more infanticide than abortion," according to Denise Mackura, Executive Director of Ohio Right to Life. "While we are pleased that two federal judges think that Ohio’s partial birth abortion ban is constitutional, we recognize that the real question remains whether the U.S. Supreme Court will allow any meaningful limitation on this brutal procedure under Roe v. Wade."
In February 2002, attorneys for President Bush filed a brief supporting the pro-life law.
The Justice Department rarely files arguments in circuit court cases when it isn’t directly involved or invited to weigh in. Not since 1992, when the first President Bush was in office, has the White House backed an abortion restriction in court.
The Ohio Department of Health reports that 278 partial-birth abortions were performed in 2000, though pro-life groups say the number is likely higher.
The ruling reverses a lower court decision. In 2001, a federal judge in Dayton, Ohio ruled that the law was unconstitutional.
Related web sites:
Opinion – https://pacer.ca6.uscourts.gov/cgi-bin/getopn.pl?OPINION=03a0446p.06
Ohio Right to Life – https://www.ohiolife.org