Supreme Court Countdown: Partial-Birth Abortion
In Gonzales v. Carhart (2007) the Court upheld the federal ban on partial-birth abortion. In the days leading up to the oral arguments on November 8, 2006, this campaign offered information on why it was important for the Court to get it right
this time.

#18 Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, dissenting from the 5-4 opinion in Stenberg v. Carhart that struck down a state ban on partial-birth abortion:

"The method of killing a human child ... proscribed by this statute is so horrible that the most clinical description of it evokes a shudder of revulsion. And the Court must know (as most state legislatures banning this procedure have concluded) that demanding a 'health exception'– which requires the abortionist to assure himself that, in his expert medical judgment, this method is, in the case at hand, marginally safer than others (how can one prove the contrary beyond a reasonable doubt?) – is to give live-birth abortion free rein." 530 U.S. 914, 953 (2000).


From two physicians widely known for promoting and using the partial-birth abortion method, Drs. Martin Haskell and James McMahon:

"Dr. Haskell said he performs [partial-birth] abortions 'up until about 25 weeks' [of] gestation, most of them elective. Dr. McMahon does abortions through all 40 weeks of pregnancy …"
- American Medical News, July 5, 1993, at 22


Testimony of Dr. Kanwaljeet S. Anand, expert on fetal and neonatal pain:

"[Question:] Doctor, do you have an opinion as to whether this [partial-birth abortion] procedure would cause pain to the fetus ...?

"[Answer:] Yes. If performed on fetuses beyond 20 weeks' gestation, this procedure has a very high probability of causing prolonged and excruciating pain to the fetus."
- Planned Parenthood v. Ashcroft, 320 F.Supp.2d 957 (N.D. Cal. 2004), Trial transcript at 1606


Testimony of abortion practitioner Cassing
Hammond, M.D.:

"[Question:] You have seen a fetus born alive after induction abortion in the second trimester, haven't you? ... . [Answer:] Yes, I have. ...
Q. And you have observed signs of life in the fetus, didn't you?
A. That is correct.
Q. You have seen spontaneous respiratory activity, right?     A. Yes.
Q. Heartbeat?     A. Yes.
Q. Spontaneous movements?     A. Yes.
Q. And you have seen these signs at 24 weeks, right?     
A. That is correct.
Q. 23 weeks?     A. Yes.
Q. 22 weeks?     A. Yes."
- National Abortion Fed'n v. Ashcroft, 330 F.Supp.2d 436 (S.D.N.Y. 2004), Trial transcript April 1, 2004 at 93-94


Partial-birth abortion practitioner James
McMahon, M.D.:

"I do have moral compunctions. And if I see a case that's later, like after 20 weeks where it frankly is a child to me, I really agonize over it because the potential is so imminently there. I think, 'Gee, it's too bad that this child couldn't be adopted.'"
- American Medical News, July 5,
1993, at 22

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