by Steven Ertelt
August 26, 2004
Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) — Pro-life groups reacted to the decision of a federal judge on Thursday striking down the ban on partial-birth abortions by saying that the next president will have the power to determine whether the gruesome abortion procedure remains legal.
"Future appointments to the Supreme Court will determine whether it remains legal to mostly deliver living premature infants and painfully puncture their skulls," explained National Right to Life Committee legislative director Douglas Johnson.
The next president could have the power to appoint as many as four Supreme Court justices. With federal judges in lower courts relying on the Supreme Court’s 5-4 decision in favor partial-birth abortions, a change of one vote could cause the high court to reverse itself.
For Johnson, the choice is clear as to which presidential candidate is more likely to move the Supreme Court in a different direction, away from its decision overturning the partial-birth abortion ban.
"President Bush is determined to ban partial-birth abortion, but John Kerry voted against the ban and has vowed that he will appoint only justices who agree with him," Johnson said.
Senator Kerry voted against the partial-birth abortion ban six times while President Bush signed the ban into law in November 2003.
Jay Sekulow of the American Center for Law and Justice said the decision by U.S. District Court Judge Richard Casey is only the beginning of a long road to the Supreme Court.
"While the decision is disappointing, it’s important to realize that this ruling represents only the beginning of a lengthy legal process that will end at the Supreme Court," Sekulow explained.
Though Judge Casey, like the Supreme Court, determined that a health exception was necessary, a spokesman for the largest faith-based doctors group said the three-day long abortion procedure would never be needed in a medical emergency.
"We trust that the Supreme Court will objectively review the mountain of medical evidence in this case and conclude that a partial-birth abortion is not medically indicated and that no baby should be subjected to this inhumane procedure," Dr. David Stevens, Executive Director of the Christian Medical Association, said.
Whatever happens, Dr. Stevens says he hopes the case has "helped awaken the conscience of America to the pain of abortion."