Pro-Life Law Firm Files Brief in Partial-Birth Abortion Supreme Court Case

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   May 17, 2006   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Pro-Life Law Firm Files Brief in Partial-Birth Abortion Supreme Court Case Email this article
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by Steven Ertelt Editor
May 17, 2006

Washington, DC ( — Attorneys for a leading pro-life law firm have filed a legal brief in the upcoming Supreme Court case on the nation’s ban on partial-birth abortions. The brief is the first of many that are expected to be filed by attorneys from the Bush administration and those on both sides of the abortion debate.

Attorneys for the Rutherford Institute filed their brief in the case of Gonzales v. Carhart, which pits a Nebraska late-term abortion practitioner against the Bush administration in a fight over whether the ban on the gruesome abortion procedure will be upheld.

“Partial-birth abortion is a brutal, gruesome and inhumane procedure that should be condemned by all civilized societies,” RI president John Whitehead said about his firm’s brief.

“As the Supreme Court has ruled before, no right is without exceptions. Congress rightly recognized this when it passed the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban as legislation that is necessary to protect our society from barbarism," Whitehead added.

Whether the nation’s high court will uphold the partial-birth abortion ban largely depends on the views of its newest members.

In 2000, the Supreme Court ruled 5-4 that a Nebraska ban on partial-birth abortions was not enforceable because it did not have a health exception, even though such abortions are not needed to protect the health of a woman and actually pose medical and emotional risks.

Since then, Chief Justice John Roberts replaced pro-life Chief Justice William Rehnquist and Justice Samuel Alito replaced pro-abortion Justice Sandra Day O’Connor.

If both Roberts and Alito vote to uphold the ban, it would overturn the 2000 decision.

Rutherford Institute attorneys argue in their brief that the so-called right to abortion handed down in Roe v. Wade “must not extend to the practice of brutally killing unborn children for the sake of protecting the mother’s non-physical medical problems."

The brief also points out that requiring Congress to include a health exception to the partial-birth abortion procedure propels abortion to an unprecedented absolute right.

The case comes to the Supreme Court after federal judges in California, New York and Nebraska ruled the ban unconstitutional based on the lack of a health exception.

Congress approved the partial-birth abortion ban by lopsided bipartisan majorities and President Bush signed the ban into law in November 2003.

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