Center for Reproductive Rights’ Expert Simon Heller to Testify Before Congress Against Abortion Ban

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On Tuesday, March 25th, Simon Heller, Of Counsel, for the Center for Reproductive Rights will testify that an abortion ban pending before the House of Representatives is unconstitutional for the same reasons that led the U.S. Supreme Court to strike down an essentially identical ban two years ago. Simon Heller, who successfully argued Stenberg v. Carhart (2000), will provide expert testimony on the Court's opinion and expose the deceptive, extreme and unconstitutional nature of the ban on so-called "partial-birth abortions."

Earlier this month, the U.S. Senate passed an almost identical ban on so-called "partial-birth abortion." The U.S. House of Representatives' bill is now in committee and is expected to move to the House floor in the next couple of weeks.

President Bush has publicly committed to signing the ban into law once it passes Congress, as is expected. The Center for Reproductive Rights previously announced that it intended to take the Bush Administration to court to block enforcement of the ban as soon as it is enacted.

Although proponents of the ban claim that only "late-term" abortions would be prohibited, the Center's legal and medical experts affirm that the ban would outlaw use of the safest and most common pre-viability abortion procedure used after the first trimester of pregnancy - dilation and evacuation (D&E).

Representative Steve Chabot (R-OH) and other supporters of the current "partial-birth abortion" bill attempt to justify their refusal to include a health exception by arguing that Congress is not bound to adhere to the Supreme Court ruling in Carhart, which found that the ban would outlaw even early, safe methods of abortion. Instead, they maintain that the Supreme Court must defer to Congress. Their opinion rejects not only the constitutional mandate of separation of powers, but ignores what has been the practice since 1803: the Supreme Court is the ultimate and final authority on what is and is not constitutional.

WHAT: Simon Heller Testifies before Congress against Unconstitutional Abortion Ban

WHEN: Tuesday March 25, 2:00 - 5:00 p.m.

WHERE: 2237 Rayburn House Office Building Washington, DC