HealthLawProf Blog

Editor: Katharine Van Tassel
Creighton University School of Law

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Friday, July 8, 2005

Eighth Circuit Agrees: Federal Partial-Birth Abortion Act is Unconstitutional

The federal partial-birth abortion ban (Pub. L. No. 108-105), which was passed in 2003, has been held unconstitutional by three district courts (in Nebraska, San Francisco, and New York).  The Nebraska decision was affirmed today by the United States Court of Appeals for the 8th Circuit (Carhart v. Gonzales).  It agreed that Congress' failure to provide an exception to the prohibition to protect the health of the mother doomed the law in light of the Supreme Court's decision in Stenberg v. Carhart. which struck down Nebraska's partial-birth abortion ban primarily for the same failure. The Fourth Circuit similarly held against a very similar Virginia partial-birth abortion ban last month. [tm]

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