WASHINGTON (December 18, 2003) -- Yesterday the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit upheld Ohio's partial-birth abortion ban. The decision in Women's Medical Professional Corporation v. Taft stated that Ohio may constitutionally ban partial-birth abortions including cases where the procedure is sought for negligible or transient "health" reasons.
"Abortionists admit that partial-birth abortions are usually done on healthy women with healthy pregnancies," said Cathy Cleaver Ruse, Esq., spokesperson for the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops' Secretariat for Pro-Life Activities. "The Sixth Circuit has given its stamp of approval to Ohio's effort to rein in this extreme and careless practice."
Ohio's ban was challenged by Dr. Martin Haskell, who claims to have created the partial-birth abortion technique. Unlike a previous Ohio law, this ban allows an exception "to preserve the life or health of the mother as a result of the mother's life or health being endangered by a serious risk of the substantial and irreversible impairment of a major bodily function."
Ending partial-birth abortion has been a major priority for the Catholic Bishops for almost a decade. Two highly successful postcard campaigns resulted in 40 million postcards sent to Congress in favor of a federal ban. In November President Bush signed the ban into law, and it is being challenged in federal courts. The new federal law against this practice contains an exception for danger to the mother's life as well as extensive data as to why partial-birth abortion is never necessary to preserve or protect a woman's health.
"Partial-birth abortion promises nothing but pain, for everyone involved. Babies who are aborted this way feel extreme pain, and women are subject to prolonged physical pain and sometimes years of silent psychological suffering. Partial-birth abortion is a uniquely intimate form of violence that has no place in a civilized society," said Ruse.