WASHINGTON - June 19 - Nancy Keenan, President of NARAL Pro-Choice America, released the following statement in response to today's decision by the United States Supreme Court to hear another challenge to the Bush Administration's Federal Abortion Ban.
"Today's decision by the Supreme Court is the latest example of how President Bush has politicized the country's judicial process. The Court struck down a nearly identical law as unconstitutional in 2000, and every court to hear a challenge to this first-ever federal ban on abortion has declared it unconstitutional.
"This is a crystal clear signal that this Court, with Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Samuel Alito, is willing to reverse decades of precedent protecting a woman's right to choose by hearing direct challenges aimed at eliminating vital protections for women's health as guaranteed under Roe v. Wade.
"The politicizing of the Court didn't happen by accident. President Bush and his far-right allies in Congress pushed for the passage of this ill-conceived and unconstitutional law. Then the president and anti-choice senators worked to put judges on the bench who will open the doors for politicians to invade our private medical decisions by letting a law like this one stand. America's pro-choice majority will remember in November which elected officials stood up for the values of freedom and privacy and which ones sided with President Bush and his far-right agenda."
Three federal courts held trials to consider the constitutionality of the Federal Abortion Ban; each declared the ban unconstitutional and permanently enjoined the government from enforcing it. The Bush administration appealed all three cases to their respective U.S. Circuit Courts of Appeals. In July, the Eighth Circuit upheld the decision issued by the district court in Nebraska; then in February, the Second Circuit and the Ninth Circuit upheld the decisions of their respective district courts. The U. S. Supreme Court has already agreed to review President Bush's appeal of the Eighth Circuit decision, Carhart v. Gonzales; this ninth circuit case of Planned Parenthood v. Gonzales will be joined with the Carhart case.