by Steven Ertelt
December 10, 2004
St. Louis, MO (LifeNews.com) — Several pro-life groups have joined the legal fray between the federal government and abortion advocates over the constitutionality of a national ban on the gruesome partial-birth abortion procedure.
Both the Justice Department and a pro-life law firm representing 26 members of Congress have filed briefs in the case and now a coalition of pro-life groups is also urging courts to uphold the ban.
Attorneys for the Center for Law & Religious Freedom of the Christian Legal Society filed a friend of the court brief on Thursday in the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals in St. Louis, Missouri.
The Center argues that a Nebraska federal judge erred when he declared the ban unconstitutional because it lacks a health exception.
The legal brief argues that the evidence before the lower court did not support the district court’s conclusion that the procedure is ever necessary to preserve a mother’s life or health.
"A bare description of this barbaric procedure puts the lie to the abortion lobby’s argument that delivering a baby up to its head then crushing its skull could ever be ‘necessary’ to preserve the mother’s health," said Steven Aden, chief litigation counsel for the Center.
The Nebraska judge is one of three federal judges who declared the ban invalid. Judges in New York and California, responding to two other lawsuits filed by abortion advocates, also overruled the ban.
The partial-birth abortion procedure was developed by Ohio abortion practitioner Martin Haskell, who admits that he performs it on mostly health women and health babies.
The Center filed the brief on behalf of the Christian Medical Association, the Alliance Defense Fund, the National Association of Evangelicals, Focus on the Family, the Family Research Council, Concerned Women for America and the Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention.