Ban Passes Both Chambers of Congress, Legislation Heads to the White House
The Center for Reproductive Rights is poised to challenge a dangerous ban on safe abortion procedures that is heading toward the President’s desk. The Senate passed the committee version of the legislation on October 21, 2003, the House passed it in early October. Once enacted, it will become the first federal abortion ban in U.S. history.
“When you ban the safest and most common procedures, women are at increased risk of becoming infertile, getting serious infections, or even dying,” said Nancy Northup President of the Center for Reproductive Rights. “The Supreme Court has already said that a law like this would have ‘tragic health consequences.’ We will do everything in our power to prevent this dangerous ban from taking effect.”
The day President Bush signs the ban into law, the Center for Reproductive Rights will challenge it in court on behalf of Dr. LeRoy Carhart, the Nebraska doctor who fought a virtually identical law all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court, and won. That case, Stenberg v. Carhart, was also argued by the Center for Reproductive Rights. Like the Nebraska ban, the current legislation contains no health exception and outlaws safe abortion procedures used starting as early as 12 weeks, which is a full month before women even have amniocentesis.
Bans like these criminalize many abortion procedures with severe penalties on doctors that include imprisonment and fines. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), which represents over 90 percent of all physicians specializing in obstetrics and gynecology, rejected this ban as “inappropriate, ill advised, and dangerous.”