Bishops' Aide Assails Abortion-Ban Ruling

WASHINGTON, D.C., JULY 13, 2005 ( A federal appellate court’s ruling that the Partial-Birth Abortion Act is «unconstitutional» prompted criticism from a U.S. bishops’ conference aide.

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Gail Quinn, executive director of the bishops’ Secretariat for Pro-Life Activities, issued a statement on Friday’s decision by a U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals based in Missouri.

«Resting on the Supreme Court’s widely criticized Stenberg v. Carhart decision, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 8th Circuit today declared the federal Partial-Birth Abortion Act of 2003 unconstitutional,» she said.

«The court cited the law’s lack of a ‘health’ exception,» Quinn said, referring to an earlier court standard which allows abortion for the sake of a woman’s «well-being.»

«But it makes no sense to say one must kill a child who is more than half born to advance the mother’s health instead of simply completing a live delivery,» the bishops’ aide said.

«The American Medical Association has said that partial-birth abortion is never medically necessary,» she added. «To claim it as a constitutional right makes a mockery of the U.S. Constitution.

«There is no place in a civilized society for this cruel and dangerous practice, and we look forward to today’s decision being overturned by the U.S. Supreme Court.»

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