Virginia Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Will Get Full Appeals Court Hearing
by Steven Ertelt
July 28, 2008
Richmond, VA (LifeNews.com) — The full 4th Circuit Court of Appeals will hold a hearing on a Virginia law that bans partial-birth abortions after a divided panel ruled 2-1 against it. The appellate court agreed on Monday to a request from pro-life Virginia Attorney General Bob McDonnell for the hearing.
As part of his request for the 12-member court to hear the case, Marshall relied on the Supreme Court’s decision concerning the federal partial-birth abortion ban, in which the high court said a health exception was not necessary to make the ban legitimate.
The appellate court panel said the Virginia ban doesn’t contain a measure the federal one does that allows abortion practitioners not to be prosecuted if they set out to do a legal abortion procedure and wind up doing a partial-birth abortion instead.
After the decision, a statewide pro-life group condemned it.
The majority of Virginians strongly supported Virginias partial birth abortion ban as consistent with the values of the citizens of the Commonwealth," Olivia Gans, the president of the Virginia Society for Human Life, told LifeNews.com after the decision.
"Pulling a living unborn child from his mother’s womb, stabbing him in the back of the head, removing his brains and then completing the delivery of the now dead baby is never a medically necessary procedure," Gans explained.
Gans’ group had asked Marshall to appeal the decision to the full appellate court.
The 4th Circuit, in a prior decision, had originally declared the partial-birth abortion ban invalid because it failed to include the disputed health exception even though the three-day-long abortion procedure is never necessary to protect a woman’s health.
The judges based their prior decision on a 2000 Supreme Court ruling that struck down a Nebraska law banning partial-birth abortions because it didn’t have the health exception.
But the Supreme Court’s more recent decision to uphold the federal ban overturns the Nebraska case.
Related web sites:
Appeals Court – https://www.ca4.uscourts.gov
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