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Are 'Partial Birth' Abortions Ever Medically Necessary?

Posted Sep 12 2008 12:00pm
On Nov. 8, 2006, the U.S. Supreme Court revisits the Partial Birth Abortion issue again in the cases of Gonzales v. Carhart and Gonzales v. Planned Parenthood.The Supreme Court had addressed in this issue 2000, in Stenberg v. Carhart, where a 5-4 decision struck down a state statute in part because it contained an exception only in cases where a woman's life is in danger and did not allow a similar exception to protect a woman's health. Nebraska legislators have re-drafted the legislation to declare that 'partial-birth' abortions are never medically necessary, hoping that the Supreme Court will find this law to be constitutional. (Query: If a legislature declares something to be a fact, does that automatically make it true? Like if the legislature declared Omaha, Nebraska to be the center of the universe, does that make it so?)

The Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life has done a thorough job of delineating all the background on the partial-birth abortion issue, if you'd like to download the 12 page document.

And NPR interviews Obstetricians who challenge the notion that so-called 'partial birth' abortion is never medically necessary.


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