USCCB regrets NY judge saying partial-birth abortion is 'brutal'… but constitutional

The USCCB encourages the appeal of a court decision made last week, which found the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act unconstitutional.

In a ruling Aug. 26, a federal judge in the Southern District of New York agreed that partial-birth abortion "is a gruesome, brutal, barbaric, and uncivilized medical procedure," but ruled that the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act must be struck down under the dictates of Roe v. Wade.

New York Judge Richard Conway Casey ruled against the Act because it did not include a health exception as required by Roe.

The case was brought by the American Civil Liberties Union on behalf of the National Abortion Federation and several individual abortion doctors. Earlier this month the Department of Justice appealed an adverse ruling in a similar case in California; a third case is still pending in Nebraska.

An official with the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops called the health exception requirement, which includes "all factors - physical, emotional, psychological, familial, and the woman's age," a "farce."

"The crucial question of medical necessity was never answered in this trial," said Cathy Cleaver Ruse, Esq., spokesperson for the USCCB's Secretariat for Pro-Life Activities.

"We applaud the Justice Department for its vigorous defense of the Act, and encourage an appeal of this ruling," she said.

The USCCB has made full transcripts of testimonies by ACLU abortion doctors available at

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