PPFA Challenges Federal Abortion Ban
Planned Parenthood Urges Ninth Circuit to Uphold Ruling Striking Federal Abortion Ban
SAN FRANCISCO — Planned Parenthood v. Gonzales (formerly Planned Parenthood v. Ashcroft), a challenge to the federal abortion ban, will be heard by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit on Thursday, October 20, 2005. Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA) and Planned Parenthood Golden Gate (PPGG) are asking the court to uphold a lower court ruling striking the ban on the grounds that it fails to protect women's health.
The federal abortion ban passed by Congress and signed into law by President Bush in 2003 was declared unconstitutional by Federal District Court Judge Phyllis J. Hamilton last year. The ban would outlaw abortions as early as 12 to 15 weeks in pregnancy, including those that doctors say are safe and among the best to protect women's health. Major medical groups, including the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, oppose the federal ban.
"The U.S. Supreme Court has consistently held that women's health must remain the paramount concern in laws restricting abortion access, and Congress knew that when they passed the federal abortion ban," said Eve Gartner, PPFA senior staff attorney. "Since then, three federal courts and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit have ruled the ban is unconstitutional because, among other things, it lacks an exception for situations in which a woman's health is at risk. Planned Parenthood will continue to defend women's health and safety in the courts to make sure this unconstitutional ban does not harm women."
"The federal abortion ban jeopardizes women's health and has already been declared unconstitutional. Decisions about women's health must be made by women with their doctors, not mandated by politicians," PPGG President and CEO Dian Harrison said. "Planned Parenthood Golden Gate is asking the Ninth Circuit to stand up for women's health and safety by supporting the findings of the lower courts in this matter."