X

Thank you for sharing!

Your article was successfully shared with the contacts you provided.
One day after President George W. Bush signed controversial legislation banning a late-term abortion procedure, a federal judge in New York granted a temporary restraining order that could prevent federal prosecutors across the country from enforcing the law. In a brief ruling, Southern District Judge Richard Conway Casey said the National Abortion Federation would most likely succeed in showing that the legislation violated the U.S. Constitution because it did not contain an exception allowing the procedure to protect a woman’s health. The contested law, called the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act of 2003, is the first federal legislation to ban an abortion procedure since the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling in Roe v. Wade 30 years ago. The act bars a medical procedure known as intact dilation and extraction, which can be used to end pregnancies in the second or third trimester. The term “partial-birth” is one favored by those who oppose the procedure. Three years ago, the Supreme Court overturned similar legislation in Stenberg v. Carhart, 530 U.S. 914, saying it was unconstitutional because it did not have an exception for protecting a woman’s health. In Stenberg, the Court said such an exception was required when the medical community was in disagreement over whether a procedure could be safer for some patients. At oral argument on Wednesday, Assistant U.S. Attorney Sheila Gowan conceded that there remains disagreement among doctors as to whether the abortion procedure in question is ever necessary to protect a woman’s health. “Given the Defendant’s position, the Court is constrained, at this time, to conclude that it is substantially likely that Plaintiffs will succeed on the merits,” Casey wrote in National Abortion Federation v. Ashcroft, 03 Civ. 8595. Casey’s decision is similar to one issued Wednesday by a federal judge in Nebraska, but that ruling applies only to the four doctors who challenged the new legislation. Casey’s ruling applies to all doctors affiliated with the abortion federation, which claims that its members perform more than half of abortions nationwide. “Defendant John Ashcroft, in his official capacity as Attorney General of the United States, and his employees, agents, and successors in office, are temporarily restrained from enforcing the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act of 2003, against Plaintiffs, their members, officers, agents, servants, and employees,” Casey wrote. Donna Lieberman, executive director of the New York Civil Liberties Union, which assisted the American Civil Liberties Union in representing the abortion group, said the ruling has national implications because of the size of the National Abortion Federation’s membership. “This is a case that affects women all over the country,” she said. “This statute is indistinguishable, virtually, from the one that was struck down [in 2000].” In a statement, the U.S. Department of Justice said it would “continue to strongly defend the law prohibiting partial-birth abortions using every resource necessary.” Talcott Camp of the ACLU argued on behalf of the Abortion Federation. Casey ordered the parties to submit papers on a preliminary injunction by the end of the day Monday.

This content has been archived. It is available exclusively through our partner LexisNexis®.

To view this content, please continue to Lexis Advance®.

Not a Lexis Advance® Subscriber? Subscribe Now

Why am I seeing this?

LexisNexis® is now the exclusive third party online distributor of the broad collection of current and archived versions of ALM's legal news publications. LexisNexis® customers will be able to access and use ALM's content by subscribing to the LexisNexis® services via Lexis Advance®. This includes content from the National Law Journal®, The American Lawyer®, Law Technology News®, The New York Law Journal® and Corporate Counsel®, as well as ALM's other newspapers, directories, legal treatises, published and unpublished court opinions, and other sources of legal information.

ALM's content plays a significant role in your work and research, and now through this alliance LexisNexis® will bring you access to an even more comprehensive collection of legal content.

For questions call 1-877-256-2472 or contact us at [email protected]

 
 

ALM Legal Publication Newsletters

Sign Up Today and Never Miss Another Story.

As part of your digital membership, you can sign up for an unlimited number of a wide range of complimentary newsletters. Visit your My Account page to make your selections. Get the timely legal news and critical analysis you cannot afford to miss. Tailored just for you. In your inbox. Every day.

Copyright © 2020 ALM Media Properties, LLC. All Rights Reserved.