Monday, May 22, 2006

Liberty Counsel Asks Supreme Court to Stop Partial-Birth Abortion

Today, Liberty Counsel filed a brief with the United States Supreme Court in support of the federal ban on "partial-birth abortion," arguing that babies who are only inches away from birth must be granted the same inalienable right to life as are all other Americans. The so-called "partial-birth abortion" procedure is actually infanticide, in that a baby is brutally killed during the birth process with only its head inside the mother.

The Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act is only part of a continuum of protection enacted by Congress to protect the unborn, partially-born and newly-born children, including the Born Alive Infant Protection Act, and "Laci and Connor's Law," which provides that a person who kills an unborn baby, along with the mother, is guilty of two crimes.

Liberty Counsel filed its amicus brief on behalf of Illinois nurse Jill Stanek in the case of Gonzales v. Carhart, which challenged the federal Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act passed by Congress and signed into law by President George W. Bush in 2003. Mrs. Stanek testified at the hearings on the Born Alive Infant Protection Act, offering Congress her first-hand accounts of watching babies born alive and then left to die. This prominent pro-life advocate helped bring this disturbing practice to Congress's attention.

Nebraska abortion doctor LeRoy Carhart, who successfully challenged a similar partial-birth abortion ban enacted by the Nebraska legislature, also brought this challenge to the federal law. Two similar cases were brought in New York and California. In all three cases, the appellate courts found the Act unconstitutional because it lacked a "health" exception. The other two cases are on hold while the Carhart case is decided by the Supreme Court.

Liberty Counsel's brief argues that Congress correctly determined that babies who are inches from birth must be afforded the inalienable right to life granted to children who complete the birth process, and that the right should not be interfered with by a claim that the "health" of the mother somehow justifies killing the child.

The partial-birth abortion procedure is gruesome and barbaric, and if performed on a convicted criminal would constitute cruel and unusual punishment. Federal law imposes fines and criminal punishment for anyone who takes and destroys bald eagle eggs, but does not protect babies just inches from birth. Partial-birth abortion is never necessary to protect the health of the mother. Abortion doctors use the health exception, which contains no standards, to justify the procedure. This is a classic case of the fox guarding the henhouse. Babies who are inches from birth deserve the same protections under our laws as all other citizens.

Read more history of the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban on Liberty Counsel's web site.