Stenberg v. Carhart: CRR's Supreme Court brief

12.16.08


Primary Content

QUESTIONS PRESENTED

1. Whether the Nebraska partial-birth abortion statute violates women's right to privacy because it bans a broad range of abortion procedures, including the safest method of second-trimester abortion, without regard to fetal viability?

2. Whether the court of appeals properly declined to narrow the scope of the Nebraska partial-birth abortion statute because doing so would have required the court to rewrite the law contrary to legislative intent and because such a narrowing construction would not cure its constitutional deficiencies?

3. Whether Nebraska’s partial birth abortion statute violates women’s right to privacy even if narrowed to ban only intact dilation and extraction abortions because it: (a) deprives women of their right to bodily integrity by forcing them to undergo undesired and unnecessary medical procedures and preventing some of them from undergoing the safest method of abortion, (b) has the effect of imposing an undue burden on women seeking pre-viability abortions by threatening their health without serving any legitimate state interest, (c) has the impermissible purpose of elevating legal protection of the fetus to the detriment of women's health and liberty, and (d) lacks any exception for women who require abortions to preserve their health, and contains only an inadequate life exception?


4. Whether Nebraska's partial birth abortion statute is void for vagueness because it uses terms such as "substantial portion" that fail to give physicians adequate notice of the prohibited conduct and invite arbitrary and discriminatory enforcement?