News Briefs


Abortion ban upheld by U.S. Supreme Court

Brittany Davis // Independent Florida Alligator (UF)

(U-WIRE) GAINESVILLE – The U.S. Supreme Court decided Wednesday to uphold a ban on certain types of abortions, leaving Americans to wonder if more restrictions are on the horizon.

In a 5-4 vote, the court legitimized the Partial Birth Abortion Ban Act. This marks the first time the Supreme Court has upheld a ban on a specific abortion procedure.

Amy Kennedy, director of external affairs at Planned Parenthood of North Central Florida, said she’s afraid this decision could lead to legislation banning all abortions. “This is a pivotal ruling for woman’s health and safety,” Kennedy said. “American women deserve the right to make personal health care decisions free of government intrusion.”

The banned procedure, technically called “intact dilation and extraction,” also known as a partial-birth abortion, would terminate second-trimester pregnancies by removing the fetus whole.

Some speculate that the Supreme Court is taking a new course on the abortion issue. That assumption leads abortion rights activists to worry that Roe v. Wade, the case that established a woman’s constitutional right to abortion, could be overturned.

The ban indicates a reversal in the Supreme Court’s position on abortion since 2000, when the court declared it unconstitutional to restrict abortions without considering the patient’s health. Under the new ban, the prohibited type of partial-birth abortion is illegal unless a woman’s health risks are severe enough to endanger her life.

But anti-abortion activists say the fetus’s health and safety should be considered equal to that of the mother.

Bush also said he hoped the law would lead to more serious restrictions on abortion.

“The Supreme Court’s decision is an affirmation of the progress we have made over the past six years in protecting human dignity and upholding the sanctity of life,” he said. “We will continue to work for the day when every child is welcomed in life and protected in law.”


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April 24, 2007


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