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Abortion Readings - Abortion Readings Partial-Birth...

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Abortion Readings “Partial-Birth Abortion” and the Supreme Court Stenberg v. Carhart- case decided by the Supreme Court in 2000 o Court declared unconstitutional a Nebraska law banning “partial-birth abortion” except when necessary to save the life of a pregnant woman A) Nebraska Partial-Birth Abortion Law o The Nebraska lwa provides that “no partial birth abortin shall be performed in this state unless such procedure is necessary to save the life of the mother o Nebraska law defined partioal-birth abortion as “an abortion in which the person performing the abortion partially delivers vaginally a living unborn child before killing the unborn child and completing the delivery” o Violation carries a prison term of up to 20 years and a fine and automatic revocation of a medical license o Dr. Leroy Carhart, a Nebraska physician who performs abortions, sued in federal court to have the law declared unconstitutional o The Supreme Court ruled that the Nebraska law and all other laws banning partial-birth abortion are unconstitutional B) The Majority Decision o In Roe the court held that because a woman’s right to privacy is “fundamental,” states must demonstrate a “compelling interest” in order to restrict abortion, and they are unable to demonstrate such an interest before the time when the fetus becomes viable o The court in Casey affirmed the core holding of Roe, that states cannot outlaw abortion before the time of fetal viability C) How Abortions are Performed o 90% of abortions in the United States are performed before 12 weeks of gestation, and almost all the rest are preformed between 12-24 weeks o Almost all second-trimester abortions are performed by means of dilation and evacuation, with variations depending on the stage of gestation
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