Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Overturned
January 31, 2006 - 5:27pm ET
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This just in: Despite the fact that Samuel Alito was confirmed to the Supreme Court, there is some good news concerning reproductive rights today. The U.S. Court of Appeals, 9th Circuit, just ruled in favor of Planned Parenthood in the organization's challenge of the federal abortion ban.
The case, Planned Parenthood v. Alberto Gonzales (it was formerly Planned Parenthood v. John Ashcroft) challenged the constitutionality of the federal partial-birth abortion ban. Check out this quote from the decision:
We, like every other federal court that has considered the question, conclude that both the Constitution and the law as established by the Supreme Court require us to hold the Act unconstitutional. Unlike the other courts, however, we do so after fully considering the Supreme Court’s recent decision in Ayotte v. Planned Parenthood of N. New England, No. 04-1144 (U.S. Jan. 18, 2006). In light of Ayotte, we conclude that the only appropriate remedy is to enjoin enforcement of the Act and we now affirm the district court’s grant of a permanent injunction.
The ruling explained that the court struck down the federal ban because (and thanks to the people at Feministe for looking up the FindLaw summary) it doesn't allow a health exception and, additionally, poses an undue burden to a women's right to choose an abortion before fetal viability.
This is good news, while it lasts. The 9th Circuit Court is the second to rule that the federal ban is unconstitutional. The bad news, of course, is that if the case is appealed, (and it almost certainly will be) there's now a newly minted Justice Alito waiting for it at the top.
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