President George W. Bush signed the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act into law on November 5, 2003. The constitutionality of this law was challenged in three federal district courts Transcripts of the court proceedings in New York, Nebraska, and California are linked below, but please note the presence of minor transcription errors.
On the basis of the Supreme Court's decision in Stenberg v. Carhart (2000), invalidating a Nebraska law banning partial-birth abortion in that state, the three federal district courts and three Courts of Appeals ruled that the federal Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act was likewise unconstitutional.
The United States Supreme Court then reviewed and reversed two of these rulings, upholding the constitutionality of the federal PBA ban in Gonzales v. Carhart, decided April 18, 2007. The Supreme Court found that the prohibited act of partial-birth abortion was sufficiently well defined in the statute to avoid confusion with the more common mid-term abortion method in which the child is dismembered while in utero, and the Court held that Congress could have reasonably concluded that a "health exception" to the ban was not necessary.
WARNING: Transcripts contain the very graphic testimony of abortion providers explaining in detail how they perform mid- and late-trimester abortions.