A closely divided U.S. Supreme Court on Wednesday upheld for the first time a nationwide ban on a specific abortion procedure, a ruling critics denounced as undermining 30 years of precedent protecting women's health.
By a 5-4 vote, the high court ruled that the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act that President George W. Bush signed into law in 2003 after its approval by the Republican-led U.S. Congress does not violate a woman's constitutional right to an abortion.
The ruling could open the door to further abortion restrictions and it came in the first full term of Bush's two Supreme Court appointees, signaling a possible new direction on a divisive social issue that could continue long after Bush leaves office.
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The decision by the conservative majority that included both of Bush's appointees marked the first federal ban on an abortion procedure to be upheld since the court's landmark Roe v. Wade ruling in 1973 that women have a basic constitutional right to abortion.
The majority opinion written by Justice Anthony Kennedy rejected the argument the law must be struck down because it imposed an undue burden on a woman's right to abortion, that it was too vague or broad and it failed to provide an exception for abortions to protect the health of a pregnant woman.
"The government has a legitimate and substantial interest in preserving and promoting fetal life," Kennedy wrote in the 39-page opinion. He said the law would reduce the number of late-term abortions.
I haven't read the decision yet and will refrain comment on this, but I will say that Planned Parenthood v Casey (the worst of the them all), Doe v Bolton, and Roe V Wade all need to get overturned.
I do wish that this was simply a state level ban, and not federal however due to 10th Amendment concerns. Abortion issues should be decided at the state level. (And each state should ban it)