Bush Administration Appeals Decision Against Partial-Birth Abortion Ban
by Steven Ertelt
August 2, 2004
San Francisco, CA (LifeNews.com) — Continuing its defense of the ban on partial-birth abortion, the Bush administration announced on Monday that it is appealing a San Francisco judge’s decision declaring the ban unconstitutional.
Attorneys representing Attorney General John Ashcroft filed the notice appealing the decision to the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals.
That appeals court has traditionally opposed upholding pro-life legislation and is considered one of the more pro-abortion courts in the country. Regardless of the appeals court’s decision, the case is likely headed to the U.S. Supreme Court for consideration.
In June, U.S. District Judge Phyllis Hamilton said the partial-birth abortion ban runs afoul of the 2000 Carhart vs. Stenberg Supreme Court decision that found a Nebraska partial-birth abortion ban unconstitutional. The high court said it lacked an exception to allow the gruesome abortion procedure to protect a woman’s health.
The Bush administration argued that the medical community acknowledges that there are never any instances when a three-day long abortion procedure would be needed in an emergency health situation.
Hamilton is one of three judges weighing separate challenges by abortion advocates.
The San Francisco case was filed by the Planned Parenthood Federation of America and its California affiliate.
A representative of the nation’s largest abortion business condemned the Bush administration’s decision.
"The court was right to strike down this dangerous law and Attorney General Ashcroft is wrong to squander Americans’ hard-earned tax dollars to fund his anti-choice crusade," Planned Parenthood president Gloria Feldt said in response. "Planned Parenthood is fully prepared to go back to court to ensure that this dangerous abortion ban never harms American women."
President Bush signed the partial-birth abortion ban into law in November 2003.
In addition to the Planned Parenthood lawsuit, several abortion practitioners filed suit in Nebraska seeking to overturn the ban and the ACLU filed a lawsuit on behalf of the National Abortion Federation, a trade group of abortion businesses.
The federal appeals court is missing one pro-life judge who may likely have decided in favor of upholding the pro-life law.
Abortion advocates in the Senate have used filibuster threats to prevent Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Carolyn Kuhl’s nomination to the 9th Circuit appeals court. President Bush nominated Judge Kuhl, who is pro-life, to the post last year.
In closing out the testimony for the Bush administration, Dr. Curtis Cook, an OB/GYN and Michigan State University professor who specializes in high-risk pregnancies and pregnancies with complications, told the court he didn’t believe partial-birth abortions were ever medically necessary.
Cook said the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists is on record as saying "there is no situation where they can think that this is the only option available."