The Federal Abortion Ban at the Supreme Court
The United States Supreme Court will hear arguments on November 8, 2006, in Gonzales v. Carhart and Gonzales v. Planned Parenthood about the constitutionality of the federal abortion ban, passed by Congress and signed by the President in 2003. The sweeping ban prohibits abortions as early as 13 weeks in pregnancy, abortions that doctors say are safe and among the best to protect women’s health.
The law was immediately challenged in three lawsuits, including a lawsuit brought by NAF. Every court that has considered the ban has struck it down as unconstitutional. In 2000, the Supreme Court struck down a similar ban in Stenberg v. Carhart, and other courts around the country have struck down such laws finding that the bans prevent doctors from providing abortions as early as 13 weeks in pregnancy and that the bans endanger women’s health.
NAF opposes the federal abortion ban because it jeopardizes women’s health and interferes with the ability of health care professionals to make appropriate medical decisions. Other medical organizations also oppose these bans.