US Justice Department appeals against the rulings that banning partial birth abortion is unconstitutionalBMJ 2004; 329 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.329.7470.820-e (Published 07 October 2004) Cite this as: BMJ 2004;329:820
- Janice Hopkins Tanne
- New York
The US Justice Department filed appeals against all three court rulings that found the federal law banning “partial birth abortion” unconstitutional. The US Conference of Catholic Bishops commended the Justice Department and said, “There is no place in a civilised society for this cruel and inhumane practice.”
The federal law banning partial birth abortion was passed by Congress in 2003 and signed by President George Bush, who called it an “abhorrent” practice (BMJ 2003;327:1009). The law does not describe the technique in medical terms. Doctors say it may apply to intact dilatation and evacuation and to most techniques used in second trimester abortions.
The law was immediately challenged in Nebraska, California, and New York. Courts in those states held it …