Partial Birth Abortion Case Could Unravel Roe v. Wade

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On February 21, the U.S. Supreme Court granted certiorari in the partial birth abortion case Gonzales v. Carhart, meaning that they will hear arguments in the case challenging the constitutionality of the federal Partial Birth Abortion Ban Act. Even before the ban was signed into law by President Bush in November 2003, abortionist LeRoy Carhart sought to block it in the federal courts, which have so far prevented the law from being enforced.

Carhart was also behind the effort to strike down Nebraska’s ban on partial birth abortion. In Stenberg v. Carhart, in 2000 the Supreme Court voted 5-4 to strike down the Nebraska ban. “The High Court got it wrong in 2000,” commented Pro-Life Action League National Director Joe Scheidler in a February 21 press release. “Now they will have an opportunity to make the right decision and outlaw this barbaric practice.”

Sandra Day O’Connor cast the deciding vote in the Stenberg case. O’Connor was replaced in January by conservative Justice Samuel Alito, who appears likely to join Justices Scalia, Thomas, Roberts and Kennedy in upholding the federal partial birth abortion ban at issue in Gonzales.

“Once you outlaw one type of abortion, you’ve opened the door to outlawing others,” commented Scheidler. “All abortion procedures are horrific and they all ought to be banned. This case could very well mean the unraveling of Roe v. Wade.”

Scheidler is still awaiting a decision from the Supreme Court in his own case, Scheidler v. NOW, the only case to come before the Supreme Court three times. A decision is expected soon.

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