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6.02.2004

Partial-birth abortion ban ruled unconstitutional in California 

From the AP:



In a ruling with coast-to-coast impact, a federal judge declared the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act unconstitutional Tuesday, saying it infringes on a woman’s right to choose.

U.S. District Judge Phyllis Hamilton’s ruling came in one of three lawsuits challenging the legislation President Bush signed last year.

She agreed with abortion rights activists that a woman’s right to choose is paramount, and that it is therefore “irrelevant” whether a fetus suffers pain, as abortion foes contend.

“The act poses an undue burden on a woman’s right to choose an abortion,” the judge wrote in her 120-page ruling.



I agree with the ruling, but for reasons completely different from those given by the judge. I think the partial-birth abortion act is unconstitutional because it infringes upon the states' rights to define the legal status of a fetus, not because the Fourth Amendment is a blanket protection of a woman's right to have an abortion. If a fetus is going to be declared a legal non-entity, it is up to the states to make that decision, not the courts.

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