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
Florida District Court Judge Robert Pleus writes:
have a new grandson. His name is Nicholas.
... At the end of the first trimester, or early
in the second trimester, we were able to view
a sonogram and determine that Nicholas was
a boy. ... If all the judges in the world and
all the justices on the supreme court decided
that Nicholas was not a person and merely a
'fetus' until his birth, I would know them
blind to reality. ... Our rule of law can no
longer remain blind to the realities of human
re Guardianship of J.D.S., 864 So.2d 534, 549
(Fla. Dist. Ct. App. 2004)(dissenting)
of U.S. District Court Judge Richard C. Casey in
the federal partial-birth abortion case:
Court finds that the testimony at trial and
before Congress establishes that D&X [i.e.,
partial-birth abortion] is a gruesome, brutal,
barbaric, and uncivilized medical procedure.
... The Government's experts ... demonstrated
that some of Plaintiffs' reasons necessitating
D&X are incoherent; other reasons were
shown to be merely theoretical. ...
"After hearing all of the evidence, as well as considering the record before
Congress, the Court does not believe that many of Plaintiffs' purported reasons
for why D&X is medically necessary are credible; rather they are theoretical
Abortion Fed'n v. Ashcroft, 330 F.Supp.2d 436,
479-80 (S.D.N.Y. 2004)
Boehm, M.D., director of obstetrics at Vanderbilt
University Medical Center in Nashville, is quoted
Boehm "insists there are no medical circumstances
in which a partial-birth abortion is the only
safe alternative. 'We take care of [pregnant]
women who are very sick, and babies who are
very sick, and we never perform partial-birth
abortions. ... There are plenty of alternatives.
... This is clearly a procedure no obstetrician
needs to do'."
Washington Times, May 6, 1996, at A1
testimony of abortion practitioner Stephen T.
some cases, prior to inserting laminaria and
performing the abortion procedure, I will do
a procedure to effect fetal death. I will inject
the fetus with potassium which will stop the
heart. The most common way to do this is by
injecting a needle directly into the heart
of the fetus under ultrasound guidance. In
these cases the mothers are not anesthetized
and the fetuses don't receive any anesthesia
by route of the mother. And in every one of
these cases, upon contact of the needle with
the fetal chest, I see a withdrawal response
of the fetus, recoiling that I can see on the
Abortion Fed'n v. Ashcroft, 330 F.Supp.2d 436
(S.D.N.Y. 2004), April 8, 2004, transcript at 1570-1571
testimony of Mitchell Creinin, M.D., who performs
... You would not allow the fetus to pass
intact if the fetus were at or about 24 weeks
in gestation, correct?
"[Answer:] Correct. ...
"[Q:] And one step you would take to avoid delivery of a live baby would
be to deliver or hold the fetus' head on the internal side of the cervical os
in order to collapse the skull; is that right?
"[A:] Yes, because the objective of my procedure is to perform an abortion.
"[Q:] And that would ensure that you did not deliver a live baby?
Parenthood v. Ashcroft, 320 F.Supp.2d 957 (N.D.
Cal. 2004), April 5, 2004, transcript at 747-748
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