Federal court approves Ohio's ban of partial-birth abortions, USCCB pleased

A federal court decision that upheld Ohio’s ban on partial-birth abortions was lauded by an official with the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB).

Yesterday’s decision, made by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit in Women's Medical Professional Corporation v. Taft, stated that Ohio may constitutionally ban partial-birth abortions, including cases where the procedure is sought for negligible or transient “health” reasons.

Cathy Cleaver Ruse of the bishops’ Secretariat for Pro-Life Activities was pleased with the decision.

"The Sixth Circuit has given its stamp of approval to Ohio's effort to rein in this extreme and careless practice,” she said in a USCCB press release, adding that even  "abortionists admit that partial-birth abortions are usually done on healthy women with healthy pregnancies."

Dr. Martin Haskell, who claims to have created the partial-birth abortion technique, challenged Ohio’s ban. Unlike a previous Ohio law, this ban allows an exception "to preserve the life or health of the mother as a result of the mother's life or health being endangered by a serious risk of the substantial and irreversible impairment of a major bodily function."

Ending partial-birth abortion has been a priority for the U.S. bishops for almost a decade. Two USCCB campaigns resulted in 40 million postcards being sent to Congress in favor of a federal ban.

In November, President Bush signed the ban into law. It is currently being challenged in federal courts. The new law against this practice contains an exception for danger to the mother’s life as well as extensive data as to why partial-birth abortion is never necessary to preserve or protect a woman’s health.

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