Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Judge: Mich. Law Against Type of Abortion Unconstitutional

A federal judge has declared unconstitutional Michigan's law aimed at banning a procedure that opponents call partial-birth abortion.
In a ruling dated Monday, U.S. District Court Judge Denise Page Hood in Detroit ruled the law places an "undue burden" on women's right to choose an abortion. The parties in the lawsuit learned of the ruling Wednesday.
Hood also said the law is confusing and vague, and its exceptions for the health or life of the mother are meaningless and unconstitutional.
"The act does not describe any specific procedure to be banned," Hood wrote. "The act also does not distinguish between induced abortion and pregnancy loss."
Previous attempts by state lawmakers to stop the abortion procedure were struck down by federal courts in 1997 and 2001.
The Michigan Catholic Conference said it disagrees with the judge's ruling and will urge Attorney General Mike Cox to appeal.
"The fight to end heinous partial-birth abortions will continue," Michigan Catholic Conference spokesman Dave Maluchnik said.Doctors label the procedure "intact dilation and extraction," or D&X. During the procedure, generally performed in the second trimester, a fetus is partially removed from the womb and the skull punctured..........


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