This Friday, when Third Circuit judges hear arguments on the constitutionality of New Jersey’s 1997 law banning “partial-birth abortions,” they’ll be grappling with an issue that will almost certainly end up in the U.S. Supreme Court.

Laws prohibiting “partial-birth abortions” have been passed in 29 states and the federal courts haven’t been able to agree on their constitutionality. In the last two months, the Seventh and Eighth Circuit Courts of Appeals have issued diametrically opposed rulings, with the Seventh Circuit upholding the laws and the Eighth Circuit invalidating them.

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