by Steven Ertelt
December 30, 2004
San Francisco, CA (LifeNews.com) — A leading pro-life law firm has filed a legal brief in another of three lawsuits abortion advocates put forward challenging the federal ban on partial-birth abortions. The brief, submitted by the American Center for Law and Justice, represents the views of thirty-one pro-life members of Congress.
The brief asks a federal appeals court in San Francisco to overturn a decision issued by U.S. District Court Judge Phyllis Hamilton declaring the ban unconstitutional because it lacks a health exception.
"The ban is needed to put an end to one of the most barbaric and medically useless procedures that targets the most vulnerable among us — the partially born child," said Jay Sekulow, Chief Counsel of the ACLJ.
"Congress acted properly and constitutionally in passing the ban and we are determined to work to protect the life of the partially born child as this legal challenge continues on its way to the Supreme Court," Sekulow added.
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.
During the trial, 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.
The filing goes to the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, a 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.
The brief contends that the government has a "vital and compelling interest" in preventing the spread of the practice of abortion into infanticide.
The brief argues that "the human being who is partially outside the mother’s body is a person entitled to the equal protection of the law" under both the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments to the Constitution.
The ACLJ is filing briefs representing members of Congress in all three cases.
The pro-life legal group has previously filed an amicus brief with the 8th Circuit and plans to file the third brief with the 2nd Circuit appeals court in January.
President Bush signed the partial-birth abortion ban into law in November 2003.
Related web sites:
American Center for Law and Justice – https://www.aclj.org