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Partial+Birth+Abortion+Ban+Act+of+2003

Partial+Birth+Abortion+Ban+Act+of+2003 - Partial Birth...

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Partial Birth Abortion Ban Act of 2003 108th Congress 1st Session S.3 AN ACT To prohibit the procedure commonly known as partial- birth abortion. Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE. This Act may be cited as the "Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act of 2003" SEC. 2 FINDINGS The Congress finds and declares the following: (1) A moral, medical, and ethical consensus exists that the practice of performing a partial-birth abortion -- an abortion in which a physician delivers an unborn child's body until only the head remains inside the womb, punctures the back of the child's skull with a Sharp instrument, and sucks the child's brains out before completing deliveryof the dead infant -- is a gruesome and inhumane procedure that is never medically necessaryand
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should be prohibited. (2) Rather than being an abortion procedurethat is embraced by the medical community, particularly among physicians who routinely perform other abortion procedures, partial- birth abortion remains a disfavored procedure thatis not only unnecessary to preserve the health of the mother, but in fact posesserious risks to the long-term health of women and in some circumstances, their lives. As a result, atleast 27 States banned the procedure as did the United States Congress which votedto ban the procedure during the 104th, 105th, and 106th Congresses. (3) In Stenberg v. Carhart (530 U.S. 914, 932(2000)), the United States Supreme Court opined "that significant medical authority supports theproposition that in some circumstances, [partial birth abortion] would be the safest procedure" forpregnant women who wish to undergo an abortion. Thus, the Court struck down the State of Nebraska'sban on partial- birth abortion procedures, concluding that it placed an "undue burden" on womenseeking abortions because it failed to include an exception for partial-birth abortions deemed necessary to preserve the "health" of
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the mother. (4) In reaching this conclusion, the Court deferredto the Federal district court's factual findings that the partial-birth abortion procedurewas statistically and medically as safe as, and in many circumstances safer than, alternative abortion procedures. (5) However, the great weight of evidence presented at the Stenberg trialand other trials challenging partial-birth abortion bans, as well as at extensive Congressional hearings, demonstrates that a partial-birth abortionis never necessary to preserve 20the health of a woman, poses significant health risks to a woman upon whom the procedure is performed, and is outside of the standard of medical care. (6) Despite the dearth of evidence in the Stenberg trial court record supporting the district court's findings, the United States Court of Appealsfor the Eighth Circuit and the Supreme Court refused to set aside the district court's factual findings because, under the applicable standard of appellate review, they were not "clearly erroneous". A finding of fact is clearly erroneous "when although there is evidence to support
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