ACLJ Transcripts from Partial-Birth Abortion Challenge

Mon Apr 12, 2004 - 12:15 pm EST

NEW YORK, April 12, 2004 ( - Jay Sekulow, American Center for Law and Justice Chief Counsel,  is supporting the Department of Justice in its defense of the partial birth abortion ban at the trial in New York. His notes, A Trial Notebook, document highlights of the grisly proceedings.

“The plaintiff, National Abortion Federation, has finished putting on their case. As they attempted to defend the procedure, about which the plaintiff doctor on Thursday said, ‘There is nothing I can do to make the procedure palatable,’ they were largely unsuccessful. Their experts were often exposed brilliantly by Assistant U.S. Attorney Sheila Gowan on cross examination as contradicting their prior testimony. Despite the plaintiff’s claim that the ban is too vague, they have been able to describe the procedure in great detail. They have also been unable to provide evidence indicating that the mother’s health is in danger unless this procedure can be performed.”“As the Justice Department begins to make their case, they should be able to show, as Assistant U.S. Attorney Sean Lane said in his opening statement, that no maternal or fetal conditions made partial birth abortion necessary for the mother’s health, that there are no safety advantages presented by the procedure and that the partial birth abortion procedure ‘blurs the line between an abortion and a live birth.’ Evidence on fetal pain and the substantial evidence that Congress relied upon in imposing the ban will be presented to Judge Casey so he can determine the ban’s constitutionality.”

The following highlights some of the trial dialogue:

“The doctor testified this afternoon that when the condition hydrocephalus is present it can make trying to get forceps around the head of the fetus very difficult. Judge Casey questioned him,”  Q: ‘If a child has that condition, will they die if they are born?’  A: ‘The condition is very often fatal.’  Q: ‘Can the child be treated?’  A: ‘Some of them can be treated.’  Q: ‘Can the child lead a normal life?’  A: ‘There is a possibility, but they have a much higher rate of mental retardation compared to the normal population.’”“This was of particular interest to me because,” Sekulow includes, “as I have mentioned before, I have working for me a young man who was born with hydrocephalus. He does a great job for our organization and is able to lead a productive life.”“The doctor was questioned by Judge Casey,” Sekulow continues, “about the fetal pain issue when he was describing the intact dilation and extraction procedure,  Q: ‘Does it hurt the baby?’  A: ‘I don’t know.’  Q: ‘But you go ahead with the procedure anyway?’  A: ‘Yes.’  Q: ‘You take care of the patients and the baby be damned. Is that it?’  A: ‘I take good care of my patients.’  Q: ‘Do you have any care or concern for the fetus whose head you are crushing?’  A: ‘No.’”“Later, when describing another aspect of the procedure,” Sekulow writes, “Judge Casey again asked: ‘Does that hurt the baby?’  A: ‘I don’t know.’  Q: ‘Do you care?’  A: ‘That is not something I consider.’  Q: ‘Then I take it your answer is you do not care?’  A: ‘At the time I am doing the procedure I do not care.’”

See the ACLJ web-site for more details at:

Keep this news available to you and millions more

Your gift will spread truth, defeat lies, and save lives

Share this article