The ban was passed by Congress and signed by President George W. Bush, but pro-abortion groups launched three lawsuits against it. Federal appeals courts in Nebraska, New York, and California declared the ban unconstitutional because it lacked a health exception in the case of a threat to the life of the baby’s mother.
The Supreme Court will now consider whether the ban needs a health exception, or if the abortion procedure is unnecessary to protect a mother's health, reported LifeNews.com. When Congress drafted the national partial-birth abortion ban, it did not include a health exception.
In an interview with National Public Radio, Rep. Steve Chabot, an Ohio Republican who sponsored the ban, said the health exception was excluded because Congress heard extensive medical testimony, which indicated that partial-birth abortions are “never medically necessary” and “oftentimes harmful to the woman.”
Medical professionals pointed out that partial-birth abortions are known to have caused cervical incompetence, trauma to the uterus, and lacerations or hemorrhaging, he said.
"The problem with the health exception is we have a number of abortionists who have testified that any pregnancy is a risk to a woman's health," he added. "So if you have a health exception in there, in essence, you have a phony partial-birth abortion ban.”
“The partial-birth abortion procedure kills a baby in the very process of delivery,” said Fr. Frank Pavone, national president of Priests for Life. “It is performed on healthy babies of healthy mothers, all in the name of the ‘freedom of choice’ that some politicians eloquently proclaim but never describe.” Fr. Pavone will attend the Supreme Court hearings.
There are approximately between 5,000 and 10,000 partial-birth abortions in the U.S. each year.
.- Pro-life groups are hopeful as the United States Supreme Court heads into hearings Wednesday on the constitutionality of the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban.