.- The American Center for Law and Justice, which filed an amicus (âfriendlyâ) brief in the New York case involving the defense of the ban on partial-birth abortion, said Tuesday's decision by a federal court in California declaring the ban unconstitutional is âdisappointing,â but not surprising.
According to the ACLJ, this decision represents only the first step in a lengthy legal road that ends at the Supreme Court of the United States.
âThe decision is disappointing, but not surprising,â said Jay Sekulow, Chief Counsel of the ACLJ, who is supporting efforts by the Department of Justice in defending the ban on partial-birth abortion.
âThe fact is the federal court in California refused to permit the United States to put forth a full evidentiary record concerning this barbaric procedure and the fact that there is no medical reason for it,â he added.
âThis is the first stop on a lengthy legal road that ends at the Supreme Court of the United States,â Sekulow also said. âWe're confident that the national ban on this horrific procedure ultimately will be declared constitutional.â
Last week, the ACLJ filed an amicus brief with the U.S. District Court of the Southern District of New York representing 25 members of Congress who co-sponsored the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act.
U.S. District Court Judge Richard Casey, who is hearing the New York case, has scheduled closing arguments in the trial for June 22nd.
Judge Casey admitted extensive testimony during the trial including statements from medical experts who testified that the partial-birth abortion procedure, which often includes the dismemberment and decapitation of the partially born child, results in "prolonged and intense pain" to the fetus.
One physician testified that the procedure is "certainly excruciatingly painful." And he told the court that a fetus exhibits acute stress to outside stimulus at the age of 18 weeks.
The ACLJ brief contends that the government has a "vital and compelling interest" in preventing the spread of the practice of abortion into infanticide.
"Partial-birth procedures represent the beachhead of abortion's assault on postnatal life, the bridge between abortion and infanticide," the brief states.
"Absent strong legal barriers and vigorous societal condemnation, partial-birth procedures open the way to legal infanticide."
The American Center for Law and Justice, which specializes in constitutional law and pro-life litigation, is based in Washington, D.C. and its website is: www.aclj.org.