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NYCLU Praises Court Ruling In Federal Abortion Ban

The New York Civil Liberties Union joins the American Civil Liberties Union and other reproductive rights organizations in applauding today’s federal court ruling in California that the “Partial Birth Abortion Ban Act of 2003” violates the United States constitution.

The ban was challenged in three federal courts late last year, including a case pending in New York. Today’s ruling by San Francisco Federal District Court Judge Phyllis J. Hamilton is the first sweeping victory for those who recognize the significant threats the ban would have posed to constitutional rights and reproductive freedom.

The court concluded that the Federal abortion ban created a risk of criminal liability for physicians who performed “virtually all abortions performed after the first trimester.” The legislation outlawed safe and common abortion procedures performed in the second trimester of pregnancy and did not include a provision to allow abortions performed to protect a woman’s health.

“We’re gratified that the court recognized the ban would have outlawed abortions as early as 13 weeks in pregnancy and posed a grave threat to women’s health,” said Donna Lieberman, Executive Director of the NYCLU.

In New York, the NYCLU is co-counsel in the ACLU’s challenge to the ban on behalf of the National Abortion Federation and seven physicians. Closing arguments in NAF v. Ashcroft are scheduled to take place on June 22nd in U.S. District Court in the Southern District of New York.

For more information, see the ACLU’s statement at

Details regarding all three legal challenges to the federal abortion ban can be found at

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