NEW YORK, April 16, 2004 ( – The American Center for Law and Justice, which specializes in constitutional law and pro-life litigation, said today the Department of Justice, which is defending the national ban on partial-birth abortion in three trials nationwide, presented sound and convincing testimony this week in New York concluding that partial-birth abortion is never medically necessary, the procedure itself is unsafe, and that the partially-born child experiences pain during the life-ending procedure.

“The evidence presented by the Department of Justice produces a clear picture of a procedure that takes the life of a partially-born child in a manner that is brutal, painful, and barbaric – a procedure that is unsafe and never medically necessary,” said Jay Sekulow, Chief Counsel of the ACLJ, who is supporting the Department of Justice in its defense of the ban and attending the trial in New York City. “The medical experts provided sound and convincing testimony that underscore the fact that this procedure has no place in our culture or in the medical community. With the strong case presented by the government, we are hopeful the court ultimately will conclude that the ban on partial-birth abortion is constitutional.”

During testimony in New York this week, medical experts told the court 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.

Another physician testified that the procedure is “certainly excruciatingly painful.” He also told the court that a fetus exhibits acute stress to outside stimulus at the age of 18 weeks.

The government produced numerous medical experts who testified that the procedure is never medically necessary to preserve the life or the health of the mother. One physician said the procedure is not safer than other abortion methods and testified that he had “grave concerns” about the long-term health consequences of women who receive partial-birth abortions.

On Tuesday, a federal appeals court is expected to consider an appeal of a federal court order compelling the release of medical records involving partial-birth abortions. U.S. District Court Judge Richard Casey, who is hearing the New York case, ordered two New York hospitals to produce medical records to the Justice Department. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit delayed the order pending a hearing on the issue scheduled for April 20.

The New York trial is one of three across the nation where the ban on partial-birth abortion, passed by Congress and signed into law by President Bush, is being challenged. In the New York case, the ACLU and the National Abortion Federation are challenging the ban.

The ACLJ, which is posting details of the testimony online at, will be filing amicus briefs representing members of Congress who sponsored the legislation banning partial-birth abortion.