WASHINGTON - September 8 - Today, U.S. District Court Judge Richard Kopf in Carhart v. Ashcroft announced that the so-called 'Partial Birth Abortion Ban,' passed by Congress and signed into law by George W. Bush in 2003, is unconstitutional and cannot be enforced.
"Let us not forget that famous image of Bush from last yearwhen he sat cheerily among conservative white male senators who clapped and cheered as he smirked and signed away women's rights," said Gandy. "Women must be able to make medical decisions free of political and religious agendas."
In his 476-page ruling, Judge Kopf wrote that the Act "does not allow, and instead prohibits, the use of the procedure when necessary to preserve the health of a woman." He also noted that the abortion methods banned in the law are necessary when a woman's health is in jeopardy.
"Judge Kopf's poignant decision reminds us that preserving women's health is the most important factor in this casenot an extremist and insular right-wing agenda," said Gandy. "Once again, a court is preventing politicians from dictating the answers to deeply private decisions that must remain between a woman and her physician. But with Bush's determination to pack the courts with ideologues, how long will we be able to rely on them to protect our rights?"
Carhart v. Ashcroft is one of three district court cases striking down the Bush Administration's attempt to impose extreme and overreaching legislation with complete disregard for women's health and the law. Last month, a federal district judge in New York struck down the same ban in NAF v. Ashcroft, and prior to that decision in June, a San Francisco federal district judge in Planned Parenthood v. Ashcroft, also barred the U.S. Department of Justice from enforcing the ban.
"This is a terrible piece of legislation that infringes on our liberties and criminalizes a safe abortion procedure. It just shows that the current administration will stop at nothing to reverse abortion rights guaranteed by Roe v. Wade," said Gandy. "This victory is just another reminder that women's rights are under siege."