Pro-Life, Pro-Abortion Groups React to Supreme Court Partial-Birth Abortion Case

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Feb 21, 2006   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Pro-Life, Pro-Abortion Groups React to Supreme Court Partial-Birth Abortion Case

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by Steven Ertelt Editor
February 21, 2006

Washington, DC ( — Pro-life and pro-abortion groups reacted Tuesday to a decision by the Supreme Court to hear an appeal of an appeal court’s decision to overturn the national ban on partial-birth abortions. Pro-life organizations were hopeful that new justices on the high court would uphold the ban and abortion advocates were disappointed.

Nikolas Nikas, president of the Bioethics Defense fund and an attorney who helped Nebraska officials defend their ban in the 2000 Supreme Court case, said he was hopeful the national law would be upheld.

Nikas explained that "the 2000 decision upheld partial birth abortion by a 5-4 vote, but the addition of Justices Roberts and Alito now make it likely that the Court now has the votes to find this atrocity to be infanticide, and not protected by the U.S. Constitution."

Jay Sekulow, chief counsel of the American Center for Law and Justice said his group is "hopeful the high court will determine that the national ban is not only proper, but constitutional as well."

The ACLJ represented 70 members of Congress in filing a brief last fall in support of the Bush administration’s position in favor of the ban.

Meanwhile, Cecile Richards, the new president of Planned Parenthood Federation of America, decried the Supreme Court’s decision to hear the case as "a dangerous act of hostility aimed squarely at women’s health and safety."

"Today’s actions by the court are a shining example of why elections matter," Richards said on behalf of the abortion business. "When judges far outside the mainstream are nominated and confirmed to public office by anti-choice politicians, women’s health and safety are put in the danger."

"Health-care decisions should be made by women, with their doctors and families — not politicians," Richards added. "Lawmakers should stop playing politics with women’s health and lives."

But Dorinda Bordlee of the Bioethics Defense fund countered that "partial birth abortion is extremely dangerous to women’s health due to the fact that the child must be turned from a head down position to a breech position, thus increasing the risks of uterine rupture and cervical tears."

Father Frank Pavone, the director of Priests for Life, said he wasn’t surprised that pro-abortion groups would be upset by the high court taking the case.

"If pro-abortion groups want to continue to maintain that partial-birth abortion is required by Roe vs. Wade, they will simply be reinforcing our efforts to educate people on how extreme Roe vs. Wade really is," he explained.

Related web sites:
Bioethics Defense Fund –
American Center for Law and Justice –
Priests for Life –