US judge again rules that ban on partial birth abortion is unconstitutionalBMJ 2004; 329 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.329.7467.644-d (Published 16 September 2004) Cite this as: BMJ 2004;329:644
- Janice Hopkins Tanne
- New York
[Editor's note: Originally, our headline for this story was wrong. It was corrected on 17 September 2004.]
The federal law banning “partial birth abortions” is heading, very slowly, to the Supreme Court. Three judges in separate jurisdictions ruled it unconstitutional and unenforceable because it did not include an exception to protect a woman's health. The Department of Justice said it would appeal.
Pro-choice advocates fear that, years from now, a more conservative Supreme Court will uphold the law as constitutional, thus outlawing most abortions.
The law was passed by Congress and signed by President Bush last year (BMJ 2003;327:1009). It was immediately challenged by five organisations involved with family planning, …