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ADF and CLS in friend-of-the-court brief to U.S. Supreme Court: Partial-birth abortion must end

Supreme Court to weigh constitutionality of federal ban on partial-birth abortion
Related Case:
Baby's Feet

WASHINGTON — Attorneys with the Alliance Defense Fund and the Christian Legal Society filed a friend-of-the-court brief at the U.S. Supreme Court Monday urging the justices to uphold the constitutionality of the federal ban on partial-birth abortion.

“There’s nothing in the Constitution that allows a person to end a life simply because he thinks that life is less valuable than his own,” said CLS Chief Litigation Counsel Steven H. Aden.  “That’s exactly what’s happening when an abortionist ends a baby’s life just seconds before the baby takes her first breath.”

In 2000, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down Nebraska’s ban on partial-birth abortion in Stenberg v. Carhart, saying the language in the ban was too vague.  Congress then passed the Partial-Birth Abortion Act of 2003, having clarified the language to remedy the Supreme Court’s earlier concerns in Stenberg.

When the current case, Carhart v. Gonzales, was argued at the appellate level last year, Congress had concluded that a “moral, medical, and ethical consensus exists that the practice of performing a partial-birth abortion…is a gruesome and inhumane procedure that is never medically necessary and should be prohibited.”

According to a 2003 ruling in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit, the court, citing medical journals, described the act of partial-birth abortion by noting that the abortionist “maneuvers the fetus to a feet-first position…and partially delivers the fetus through the mother’s cervix up to a point that allows the physician to access the fetus’s head, which is inside the mother, while stabilizing the fetus’s body, which is outside the mother.  Then, in order to collapse the fetus’s skull…, the physician ‘forces a pair of scissors into the base of the skull, enlarges the opening and evacuates the contents with a suction catheter....’  The abortion concludes with the removal, in a single pass, of the fetus’s intact, dead body.”

“A brutal act that is a few centimeters away from infanticide is never necessary to save a mother’s life,” said ADF Senior Counsel Gary McCaleb.  “The concerns that the Supreme Court expressed in the Stenberg ruling have been resolved by Congress, and we need to protect our children from this butchery.”

Together, ADF, America’s largest legal alliance, and CLS, America’s premier membership organization of Christian legal professionals, defend religious liberty, human life, marriage, and the family.