SOURCE: Georgia Right to Life

April 25, 2007 15:12 ET

Georgia Right to Life Commends Ruling Upholding Ban on Partial-Birth Abortion

ATLANTA, GA -- (MARKET WIRE) -- April 25, 2007 -- On April 18, 2007, the U.S. Supreme Court rejected a legal challenge to the federal Partial Birth Abortion Ban Act, which will allow the law to go into effect for the first time since it was signed by President Bush. Originally passed in 2003, the ban received bipartisan support in the House and Senate. For the last five years, however, abortion advocates successfully kept the law from going into effect via challenges through the legal system.

The Supreme Court of the United States ruling upheld the federal Partial Birth Abortion Ban Act of 2003, reversing lower court rulings. The Act prohibits "partial-birth abortion," except when necessary "to save the life of a mother whose life is endangered" by a physical disorder, illness, or injury. Justice Kennedy, who wrote the opinion, was joined by Justices Thomas and Scalia in the 5-4 decision. In addition, President Bush's newly appointed justices, Roberts and Alito, ensured that the ban will be upheld.

"For too long, abortion advocates have believed that the Supreme Court should strike down any abortion restrictions simply because of Roe v Wade," stated Caryl Swift, President of Georgia Right to Life. "This decision may indicate that the new Court is willing to allow common sense pieces of legislation that are popularly supported by the American public." In various opinion polls since 2000, 70 to 90 percent of Americans support a ban on partial-birth abortion.

In addition to the national implications, the decision will likely have a direct impact on Georgia and its partial-birth abortion law as well. Since the legislation was passed nationally, states like Georgia will be reviewing their current law and redefining language in their statutory code. Legislators have already contacted Georgia Right to Life to make them aware of the interest generated by the court's decision. "We are reviewing the current status of the Georgia statutory code," said Dan Becker, Vice President of Georgia Right to Life. "In 2008, it appears that the General Assembly will need to refine the language to comply with the federal law."

Georgia had an additional connection to the case as well. During the proceedings, affidavits were collected regarding the physical, emotional, and mental impact that abortion has on women. Of the 180 affidavits that were reviewed in this case, ten involved women in Georgia.

Georgia Right to Life is a non-profit, non-partisan, non-sectarian organization of diverse and caring people united to engage in actions that will restore respect and effective legal protection for all human beings from the moment of fertilization until natural death.

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