Former Abortion Practitioner: Activists Mislead on Partial-Birth Ban

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Nov 8, 2006   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Former Abortion Practitioner: Activists Mislead on Partial-Birth Ban Email this article
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by Steven Ertelt Editor
November 8
, 2006

Washington, DC ( — Abortion advocates hope hearings at the Supreme Court on a federal partial-birth abortion ban will convince enough members of the high court to keep the abortion method legal. Though experts say otherwise, pro-abortion activists say the three-day long abortion procedure is necessary to protect a mother’s health.

Vicki Saporta, the president of the National Abortion Federation, a trade group of abortion businesses, claimed Wednesday that partial birth abortions are ones "doctors say are safe and among the best to protect women’s health."

“Politicians should not legislate medical decision-making; women should be able to make decisions and receive care based on their individual circumstances," she said.

Nancy Northup, president of the Center for Reproductive Rights, agreed and asserts that "The law fails to provide any exception to the ban when the woman’s health is at stake."

But Dr. Anthony Levatino, a Las Cruces, New Mexico OBGYN who formerly did abortions in New York, says a partial-birth abortion is a three day long process and would never be a medical procedure a doctor would need to use to protect a woman’s health.

"The way you end a pregnancy to save a woman’s life is to deliver the (baby)," Levatino said. "If you wait three days to do a partial birth abortion, she’s going to end up in the morgue."

Levatino told the Hamilton Spectator newspaper the health exception abortion advocates want is a "legal tactic" that has no basis in medical fact.

Meanwhile, Nancy Keenan, president of NARAL, says the ban would be the first step in overturning the Roe v. Wade decision, that legalized virtually unlimited abortion, if the high court lets it stand.

"If the Court sides with President Bush and upholds this ban, it will have overturned a core protection of Roe v. Wade for women’s health and paved the way for anti-choice politicians to further dismantle that landmark decision," she said in a statement received.

However the high court appears to have a split between its view on a partial-birth abortion ban and its view on abortion in general.

Assuming new Chief Justice John Roberts and new Justice Samuel Alito side with Justices Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas, the Supreme Court has just a 5-4 majority in favor of Roe and keeping abortion legal.

That’s because Justice Anthony Kennedy sides with the pro-abortion bloc of judges on abortion in general. Despite his preference to keep Roe in place, Kennedy ruled with the minority in 2000 to uphold a Nebraska ban on partial-birth abortions.

President Bush signed the national partial-birth abortion ban into law in 2003 and abortion advocates took it to court in three separate lawsuits and federal courts in each case relied on the Supreme Court’s decision in 2000 and declared the ban unconstitutional.

In July, the Eighth Circuit upheld the decision issued by the district court in Nebraska; then in February, the Second Circuit and the Ninth Circuit upheld the decisions of their respective district courts.

The U. S. Supreme Court has agreed to review President Bush’s appeal of the Eighth Circuit decision, Carhart v. Gonzales; and the Ninth Circuit case, Planned Parenthood v. Gonzales.