SAN FRANCISCO, June 1, 2004 ( – A federal judge ruled Tuesday that the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban, signed into law last November by U.S. President George W. Bush, is unconstitutional.  Planned Parenthood abortionists sued the federal Justice Department over charges that the partial birth abortion ban implemented late last year is unconstitutional. The group argued that the ban does not allow an exception for the procedure “if it is needed to protect the mother’s life.” The San Francisco suit was one of three filed last November by the National Abortion Federation after President Bush signed the ban into law.  “The decision is disappointing, but not surprising,” said Jay Sekulow, Chief Counsel of the American Center for Law and Justice, who is supporting efforts by the Department of Justice in defending the ban on partial-birth abortion. “The fact is the federal court in California refused to permit the United States to put forth a full evidentiary record concerning this barbaric procedure and the fact that there is no medical reason for it. This is the first stop on a lengthy legal road that ends at the Supreme Court of the United States. We’re confident that the national ban on this horrific procedure ultimately will be declared constitutional.”

U.S. District Court Judge Richard Casey, who is hearing the New York case, has scheduled closing arguments in the trial for June 22nd. Judge Casey admitted extensive testimony during the trial including statements from medical experts who testified that the partial-birth abortion procedure, which often includes the dismemberment and decapitation of the partially born child, results in “prolonged and intense pain” to the fetus. One physician testified that the procedure is “certainly excruciatingly painful.” And he told the court that a fetus exhibits acute stress to outside stimulus at the age of 18 weeks.

The ACLJ brief contends that the government has a “vital and compelling interest” in preventing the spread of the practice of abortion into infanticide. “Partial-birth procedures represent the beachhead of abortion’s assault on postnatal life, the bridge between abortion and infanticide,” the brief states. “Absent strong legal barriers and vigorous societal condemnation, partial-birth procedures open the way to legal infanticide.”

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