.- In response to a federal appeals court which recently ruled that the U.S.’s ban on partial birth abortion is unconstitutional, one prominent priest is speaking out saying that the court’s decision is utterly “irrational”, and that the Supreme Court needs new judges “who are not activists.” Fr. Frank Pavone, president of the group Priests for Life, gained recent recognition as an advocate for the family of Terri Schiavo, a Florida woman who was starved by court order in defiance of her parent’s wishes.
On Friday, a three-judge panel of the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals called the 2003 federal Partial Birth Abortion Ban Act unconstitutional because they say it fails to allow for exceptions to protect a woman’s health.
"In effect,” wrote Judge Kermit Bye, “we believe when a lack of consensus exists in the medical community, the Constitution requires legislatures to err on the side of protecting women's health by including a health exception."
Fr. Pavone however, begs to differ. "Our elected representatives have passed a law that our president has signed," he said. "This measure will protect the lives of women and unborn children and end the barbaric procedure of partial birth abortion, a procedure that benefits nobody except the abortion industry.”
He added that “It is the responsibility of the courts to preserve the Constitution from the utter irrationality that would conclude that a procedure like this could ever be Constitutional. It is likewise their responsibility not to insult our intelligence by saying the ban is unconstitutional. The Supreme Court needs to resolve this issue -- with new Justices on the bench who are not activists."
Washington remains today in the midst of a heated debate over the replacement of retiring Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, who was often seen as a swing voter on pro-life and religious freedom issues.