PBA Ban Primed for New Supreme Court Review

It is no big surprise – but our infamous 9th Circuit Court of Appeals struck down the Federal Partial Birth Abortion Ban enacted by Congress in 2003. The three judges – one of whom just happened to be the notorious Judge Stephen Reinhardt of Pledge of Allegiance fame – wrote that they had tried very hard to find a way to uphold the law, but alas, they were forced to invalidate the entire statute.

Forgive me if I am less than convinced by this liberal’s protests.

But I don’t want to waste your time reviewing the whole sordid history of the 9th Circuit or Judge Reinhardt.

On the same day that the 9th Circuit issued its stay so did the 2nd Circuit also issued an injunction. That, too, is not surprising. The lower courts are pretty much stuck with a previous ruling by the Supreme Court in 2000 on the PBA.

What interests me is the dissent by Judge Chester Straub of the 2nd Circuit. He wrote that the federal courts should show some respect for the legislative findings of Congress, who found that the partial birth abortion procedure is never necessary to protect the health of a woman. Congress found that the three-day-long procedure can actually harm a woman’s health.

Even more to the point: “I find the current expansion of the right to terminate a pregnancy to cover a child in the process of being born morally, ethically and legally unacceptable,” wrote Judge Straub.

And even the majority opinion from the 2nd Circuit challenged the Supreme Court to provide better guidelines on abortion law: “Is it too much to hope for a better approach to the law of abortion – one that accommodates the reasonable policy judgments of Congress and the state legislatures …?” wonders Chief Judge John Walker.



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