Bishops' Aide Criticizes Ruling on Partial-Birth Abortion

Expects an Appeal of U.S. Judge’s Decision

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WASHINGTON, D.C., JUNE 2, 2004 ( A U.S. bishops’ aide assailed a federal judge’s decision to declare the partial-birth abortion ban unconstitutional.

«Once again a federal judge has declared that Roe v. Wade stands for the right to kill a child in the process of being born,» said Cathy Cleaver Ruse, spokeswoman for the bishops’ Secretariat for Pro-Life Activities.

The comment came in the wake of Tuesday’s decision by a San Francisco-based judge who ruled in a lawsuit brought by Planned Parenthood Federation of America.

«The American Medical Association says this procedure is never medically necessary,» said Ruse. «To say that it is a fundamental constitutional right makes a mockery of the Constitution.»

Trial testimony from abortion doctors included frank descriptions of aborting children in the fifth and sixth months of pregnancy.

Dr. Maureen Paul of Planned Parenthood Golden Gate was asked under oath what comes next once the baby is delivered to the point where the head lodges in the cervix: «Well, there are two things you can do. You can disarticulate at the neck, or what I prefer to do is to just reach in with my forceps and collapse the skull and bring the fetus out intact,» she said.

«Partial-birth abortion promises nothing but pain, for everyone involved,» said Ruse. «There is no place in a civilized society for this cruel and dangerous practice. We encourage and anticipate an appeal of this ruling.»

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