The Center for Reproductive Rights plans to file a legal brief by the end of next month with the Supreme Court, outlining why the Justices should not review the federal abortion ban case, Gonzales v. Carhart. Last Friday, just as the Senate was set to take up John G. Roberts’ nomination to the high court, the Department of Justice asked the Court to review an appellate court decision striking the Partial Birth Abortion Act of 2003 down as unconstitutional. Today, Nancy Northup, President of the Center for Reproductive Rights, issued the following statement in response:
“Almost five years ago in Stenberg v. Carhart, the Supreme Court found Nebraska’s very similar abortion ban unconstitutional for the same reason that the appellate court struck down the federal abortion ban: it contains no exception for a woman’s health. Congress claimed to be safeguarding a woman’s health, but, in fact, wrote and passed a law that does the exact opposite.
During the recent Supreme Court nomination hearings, Judge John Roberts discussed the importance of Court precedent and the rule of law. Since Roe, the high court has been consistent and clear in its decisions: a woman’s health and safety must remain a doctor’s paramount concern. Whatever changes occur in the composition of the Court should not change that precedent.”