by Steven Ertelt
August 27, 2004
New York, NY (LifeNews.com) — A second federal judge declared the national ban on partial-birth abortions unconstitutional setting up the next step in what will inevitably be a Supreme Court battle. However, pro-life groups say that, win or lose, the partial-birth abortion ban legal battle has helped educate the public on the travesty of abortion.
Pro-life groups say that the partial-birth abortion ban trials have helped Americans, some for the first time, see the pain that such abortions cause unborn children.
"Testimony by fetal pain experts such as Jean Wright, MD, has revealed that an abortion subjects an unborn child to ‘intense pain," says Dr. David Stevens, director of the Christian Medical Association.
"[T]his case and the congressional evidence backing the legislation have helped awaken the conscience of America to the pain of abortion," Dr. Stevens added.
Though he overturned the ban, Judge Casey acknowledged the pain unborn babies experience.
Casey wrote that "credible evidence that [such] abortions subject fetuses to severe pain. Notwithstanding this evidence, some of Plaintiffs’ experts testified that fetal pain does not concern them, and that some do not convey to their patients that their fetuses may undergo severe pain during a D&X [partial-birth abortion]."
The American Center for Law and Justice, a pro-life legal group, also notes that Judge Casey acknowledged the brutality of partial-birth abortions.
"This medical procedure has been described by many, including Justices of the Supreme Court, as gruesome, inhumane, brutal, and barbaric," Casey wrote in his opinion.
The partial-birth abortion debate has been ongoing since 1995 and pro-life groups say the focus on descriptions of how unborn children are killed during a partial-birth abortion procedure have helped changed public opinion.
Polls over the last ten years have, in fact, shown a gradual shift in public opinion towards a pro-life position and the number of abortions has been slowly on the decline since then.
The partial-birth abortion trials have also been an eye-opener for the public to get an insight into the thinking of abortion advocates.
Stephen Hut, an attorney arguing for those suing to overturn the law, admitted to Judge Casey that he trusted abortion practitioners more than women to determine what is the best decision for women when pregnant and considering an abortion. Judge Casey later chided Hut for his anti-woman views.
Meanwhile, abortion practitioner Stephen Chasen testified that he didn’t know whether partial-birth abortion hurts the baby.
When Judge Casey asked him if he had "any care or concern for the fetus whose head you were crushing," Chasen answered, "No."
Gene Rudd, MD, CMA’s associate director, said that "as Americans have realized the pain and inhumanity represented by this particular method of abortion, it has also begun to awaken our society to the value of all life, born and unborn."
"Whatever the courts may decide, this issue has already been decided in the court of public opinion. The verdict is that Americans have declared this to be a barbaric procedure–one that must never be tolerated," Dr. Stevens concluded.