Black Activists Laud Supreme Court's Ban on Partial Birth Abortion
Year-Long Controversy Based on Faulty Accusation Unnecessarily Stoked Racial Tensions
For Release: April 18, 2007
Contact: David Almasi at 202/543-4110 x11
Today's U.S. Supreme Court ruling upholding a legislative ban on the practice of partial birth abortion is being hailed by members of the black leadership network Project 21 as a victory for the safety and welfare of the unborn as well as a reminder of the importance of having strict constructionists jurists on our courts.
"At last, the Supreme Court acknowledges that the right to kill one's baby has limits," said Project 21 member Djana Milton. "Although abortion itself remains constitutionally guaranteed, all manners of cruelty in the process are no longer tolerable. This is one of the most civilized decisions in the life and death fight for the unborn."
In a five-to-four ruling, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the Partial Birth Abortion Act that was signed into law by President George W. Bush in 2003. The Act outlaws a late-term abortion procedure in which an unborn baby is partially delivered but then terminated in a process that involves crushing or cutting apart the baby's skull.
In his majority opinion in the combined cases of Gonzales v. Carhart and Gonzales v. Planned Parenthood, Justice Anthony Kennedy - who is regularly considered the "swing vote" on the Court, wrote that previous lower court opinions and abortion advocates' arguments against the Partial Birth Abortion Act "have not demonstrated that the Act would be unconstitutional."
The Court's decision is not a comprehensive ban on abortion and does not restrict other types of late-term abortions. Statistically, it is estimated that 90 percent of abortions - primarily those scheduled during the first 12 weeks of a pregnancy - will not be affected by the Act or the today's ruling.
"I applaud this ruling because it outlaws a draconian procedure that has no place in modern medicine," said Project 21 member Kevin Martin. "Partial birth abortion, by its very name, admits to a birth which - by definition - assumes life. Thus, it inflicts undo suffering."
"It should be noted that the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the constitutional principles of life, liberty and freedom for all people, including the unborn," said Project 21 chairman Mychal Massie. "While all humane individuals cannot help but be pleased with this decision, I think it even more important to note that the Court based its opinion on constitutional precepts. This difficult ruling shows the precise reason why we need judges and justices who are willing to strictly interpret the Constitution and not render decision that assuage their colleagues desires or dispense their own political leanings."
Project 21, a nonprofit and nonpartisan organization sponsored by the National Center for Public Policy Research, has been a leading voice of the African-American community since 1992. For more information, contact David Almasi at (202) 543-4110 x11 or Project21@nationalcenter.org, or visit Project 21's website at http://www.project21.org/P21Index.html.
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