ACLU Welcomes Supreme Court Review of Restrictive Abortion Ban

January 14, 2000 12:00 am

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NEW YORK — The American Civil Liberties Union welcomes the United States Supreme Court’s announcement that it will review a federal court decision striking down as unconstitutional Nebraska’s so-called “partial-birth abortion” ban.

We are confident that the Supreme Court, like the overwhelming majority of the lower courts, will find the law unconstitutional.

As the lower courts have concluded time and time again, the so-called “partial-birth abortion” bans, in fact, prohibit safe and common abortion procedures, performed well before fetal viability, in violation of the constitutional right of reproductive choice.

These bans threaten the health and safety of women, placing physicians in many states at risk of criminal prosecution and loss of their license to practice medicine if they provide their patients with appropriate medical care.

In recent years, 29 states have enacted abortion bans substantially similar to that of Nebraska, and medical providers have challenged the bans in 21 states. In 19 of these states, the courts have enjoined or strictly limited the law’s enforcement.

We trust that the Court, with its decision in this case, will send a clear signal that the Constitution does not tolerate bans on safe abortion procedures. We welcome a decision that will, at last, put an end to the spate of recent efforts to radically restrict women’s right of reproductive choice.

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