MARCH 13, 2003
for Reproductive Rights
Adrianna Montague-Gray: 917-637-3658, Email: Amontague-Gray@Reprorights.Org
Center for Reproductive Rights: Senate Passes
Unconstitutional Abortion Ban;
Legislation Prohibits Safest Abortion Procedure
After 12 Weeks
- March 13 - Flouting a decision by the United States Supreme
Court that found a ban on so-called "partial-birth abortion" to
be unconstitutional, the U.S. Senate today passed a nearly identical
version of the abortion ban (S.3) in a 65-32 vote.
Senate passed a law that they know is unconstitutional and endangers
women's health," said Nancy Northup, president of the Center for
Reproductive Rights, which won the Supreme Court case striking
down a similar abortion ban three years ago. "Supporters of this
bill refused not only to cure the flaws pointed out by Supreme
Court, but also failed to pass an amendment to help prevent pregnancies
in the first place. More than anything else, these actions demonstrate
that the bill's supporters care more about banning abortions than
upholding the Constitution or protecting women's health."
has publicly committed to signing the ban into law once it passes
Congress, as is expected. The Center for Reproductive Rights previously
announced that it intended to take the Bush Administration to
court to block enforcement of the ban as soon as it is enacted.
of the ban claim that only "late-term" abortions would be prohibited,
the Center's legal and medical experts affirm that the ban would
outlaw use of the safest and most common pre-viability abortion
procedure used after the first trimester of pregnancy - dilation
and evacuation (D&E).
years ago, in Stenberg v. Carhart, the U.S. Supreme Court found
Nebraska's so-called "partial-birth abortion" ban to be an unconstitutional
threat to women's health and lives. The Justices struck down the
ban for two reasons: first, the ban would have prevented women
from obtaining the safest methods of abortion; second, it lacked
an exception in cases where the health of the mother was in jeopardy.
The bill passed by the Senate today fails to remedy these flaws.
detailed information about the ban's effect and the Supreme Court
decision striking down the ban (Stenberg v. Carhart), please visit
the Center's website at http://www.reproductiverights.org/pub_fac_pba.html
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