Pro-Life Members of Congress File Brief in Partial-Birth Abortion Case

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   May 27, 2004   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Pro-Life Members of Congress File Brief in Partial-Birth Abortion Case

by Steven Ertelt Editor
May 27, 2004

Washington, DC ( — A pro-life law firm has filed an amicus brief on behalf of 25 pro-life members of Congress in an effort to help the Bush administration defend the partial-birth abortion ban from pro-abortion lawsuits seeking to overturn the law.

The Congressional members are asking a federal district court in New York to uphold the constitutionality of the ban on the gruesome abortion procedure.

"Congress acted properly and constitutionally in passing this ban on partial-birth abortion," said Jay Sekulow, Chief Counsel of the American Center for Law and Justice, who attended the federal court trial in New York City and is supporting the Department of Justice in the case.

"This ban is not only needed, but is constitutional and we are honored to represent members of Congress who co-sponsored the law that is now being challenged," Sekulow added. "We are hopeful the court will recognize the fact that partially-born children deserve the constitutional protections afforded to all persons."

"Partial-birth procedures represent the beachhead of abortion’s assault on postnatal life, the bridge between abortion and infanticide," the brief states. "Absent strong legal barriers and vigorous societal condemnation, partial-birth procedures open the way to legal infanticide."

The brief represents the ACLJ and pro-life lawmakers. The law firm filed it today with the U.S. District Court of the Southern District of New York.

U.S. District Court Judge Richard Casey, who is presiding over the case, has scheduled closing arguments for June 22.
Judge Casey is one of three federal judges presiding over trials of lawsuits abortion advocates have filed challenging the constitutionality of the abortion ban.

They say it lacks a health exception to protect women, citing a 2000 Supreme Court decision overturning a Nebraska ban on the gruesome procedure. But pro-life advocates, and the Bush administration, say such abortions are never needed to protect the health of a woman.

In addition to New York, cases are being tried in San Francisco and Nebraska.

The San Francisco trial has concluded and federal judge Phyllis Hamilton says her decision will cover only Planned Parenthood and a San Francisco hospital — rather than issuing a nationwide decision.

The members of Congress represented in the brief include: Rep. Robert B. Aderholt (Alabama), Rep. Todd Akin (Missouri), Rep. Bob Beauprez (Colorado), Rep. Marsha Blackburn (Tennessee), Rep. Roy Blunt (MO), Rep. Michael C. Burgess (Texas), Rep. Michael "Mac" Collins (Georgia), Rep. Jo Ann S. Davis (Virginia), Rep. Jim DeMint (South Carolina), Rep. Jo Ann H. Emerson (MO), Rep. Tom Feeney (Florida), Rep. Jeff Flake (Arizona), Rep. Trent Franks (AZ), Rep. Scott Garrett (RNew Jersey), Rep. Phil Gingrey (GA), Rep. Melissa A. Hart (Pennsylvania), Rep. Ernest J. Istook, Jr. (Oklahoma), Rep. Walter Jones, Jr. (North Carolina), Rep. Ric Keller (FL), Rep. Marilyn Musgrave (CO), Rep. Charles "Chip" Pickering, Jr. (Mississippi), Rep. Joseph R. Pitts (PA), Rep. Jim R. Ryun (Kansas), Rep. Mark Souder (Indiana), Rep. John Sullivan (Oklahoma). All are Republicans.

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