Statement by Nancy Northup, President
“Congress is on the eve of passing an unconstitutional and dangerous abortion procedures ban that will put the health of American women at risk by prohibiting doctors from performing the safest abortion procedures. The Center for Reproductive Rights is poised to challenge this unconstitutional legislation the second it is enacted by President Bush just as we did three years ago in Stenberg v. Carhart – the U.S. Supreme Court case striking down a virtually identical ban. We will challenge this for the second time on behalf of Dr. Leroy Carhart, a brave physician who fought this ban all the way to the Supreme Court, and won.
“This legislation, deceptively called the ‘partial-birth abortion’ ban was designed by anti-choice zealots to prohibit safe abortion procedures. It contains no exception to protect the pregnant woman’s health and bans the safest methods used as early as 12 weeks, which is well before women have amniocentesis, much less get the results.
“The Supreme Court rejected this political scheme in the Carhart case, ruling that the government cannot ban the safest and most common methods of abortion, and that any law restricting abortion must contain an exception to protect a woman’s life and health. Yet, Congress has chosen to ignore this ruling as it moves to pass the first federal abortion ban in U.S. history.
“Congress has also chosen to ignore the leading medical organizations that oppose this ban, including the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, which has called this legislation ‘inappropriate, ill advised and dangerous.’
“It is unconscionable that Congress is flouting the Supreme Court’s ruling and endangering women’s health simply to gain political ground with anti-choice extremists. Women’s health is of the utmost importance, and the Center for Reproductive Rights will do everything in its power to prevent this dangerous legislation from taking effect.”