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.

#27 American Medical Assn. President Daniel H. Johnson, Jr., M.D. stated in a letter to the editor of The New York Times on May 26, 1997:

"Our reasons for supporting the bill [banning partial-birth abortions] are simple: the partial delivery of a living fetus for the purpose of killing it outside the womb is ethically offensive to most Americans and physicians. Our panel could not find any identified circumstance in which the procedure was the only safe and effective abortion method."

#26 The federal Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act of 2003 defines a "partial-birth" abortion as one in which the practitioner -

"(A) deliberately and intentionally vaginally delivers a living fetus until, in the case of a head-first presentation, the entire fetal head is outside the body of the mother, or, in the case of breech presentation, any part of the fetal trunk past the navel is outside the body of the mother, for the purpose of performing an overt act that the person knows will kill the partially delivered living fetus; and

"(B) performs the overt act, other than completion of delivery, that kills the partially delivered living fetus. ..."

#25 The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists has stated:

“A select panel convened by ACOG could identify no circumstances under which this [partial-birth abortion] procedure … would be the only option to save the life or preserve the health of the woman.”  (ACOG Statement of Policy, Jan. 12, 1997)

#24 Trial testimony of Harlan Giles, M.D. (professor of obstetrics and perinatology who performs abortions up to viability), in Ohio partial-birth abortion case:

“I do not think there are any maternal conditions that I’m aware of that mandate ending the pregnancy that, also, require that the fetus be dead. … And I cannot think of a fetal condition or malformation, no matter how severe, that actually causes harm or risk to the mother of continuing the pregnancy.” (Women's Med. Prof'l Corp. v. Voinovich, 911 F. Supp. 1051 (S.D. Ohio 1995), Trial Transcript, Nov. 13, 1995 at 331 & 332.)


Ron Fitzsimmons, executive director of the National Coalition of Abortion Providers, “now says the procedure is performed far more often than his colleagues have acknowledged, and on healthy women bearing healthy fetuses. … Mr. Fitzsimmons recalled the night … when he appeared on ‘Nightline’ on ABC and ‘lied through my teeth’ when he said the procedure was used rarely and only on women whose lives were in danger or whose fetuses were damaged.” (The New York Times, Feb. 26, 1997.)

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