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Planned Parenthood Speaks Out Against Federal Abortion Ban and Samuel Alito:
Supreme Court to Decide Whether It Will Hear Abortion Ban Case as Alito Hearings Are Set to Begin

WASHINGTON, D.C. — On Friday, the justices of the U.S. Supreme Court are likely to decide whether they will review a lower court decision in Carhart v. Gonzales, a challenge to the federal abortion ban. They are expected to announce their decision Monday, but they could announce as early as tomorrow. The challenged federal law would ban abortions as early as the 12th to 15th week in pregnancy that doctors say are safe and among the best to protect women's health.

Meanwhile, the confirmation hearings for U.S. Supreme Court nominee Judge Samuel Alito begin Monday. If Alito is chosen as the next associate justice of the Supreme Court, Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA) has every reason to believe he would ignore longstanding precedent and vote that the Constitution does not protect women's safety and health.

Karen Pearl, interim president of PPFA, released this statement on the intersection of the Alito hearings and the abortion ban:

"Women's health care decisions should be made by women and their doctors, not by politicians. The federal abortion ban jeopardizes women's safety by outlawing abortions early in pregnancy that doctors believe are among the safest for their patients.

"The court's decision on whether to hear this case comes at a critical time as the confirmation of Supreme Court nominee Samuel Alito is being considered. Alito has a record of hostility toward women's rights, and we believe he would likely vote against protections for women's health in Carhart v. Gonzales and any other abortion case to come before him as a Supreme Court justice. We call on the Senate to reject his nomination.

"We are hopeful that the current justices of the Supreme Court will choose not to hear the abortion ban case, thereby continuing to uphold more than 30 years of Supreme Court precedent requiring that laws restricting abortion access must include protections for women's health."

Every court that has examined the federal abortion ban has struck it down because it fails to include this protection. The case that the Supreme Court is considering is the Bush administration's appeal of the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeal's July 2005 ruling that the ban is unconstitutional.

Major medical groups, including the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, the American Medical Women's Association, the American Nurses Association and many others, oppose the federal abortion ban because of the risks it imposes on women's health and safety.


Planned Parenthood Federation of America


Gustavo Suarez, 212-261-4339
Erin Kiernon, 202-973-4975


May 12, 2014