Gail Appleson, writing for Reuters, reports that the U.S. Department of Justice filed a motion on Monday seeking a speedy review of the Partial Birth Abortion Act of 2003.
The filing was made in response to U.S. District Judge Richard Casey’s ruling last Wednesday blocking enforcement of the new legislation. I posted about Judge Casey’s decision here.
In its motion, available here via FindLaw, the Justice Department argues that Judge Casey’s decision to block enforcement of the ban “rested on the finding that there remains a disagreement in the medical community as to whether the abortion procedures covered by the Act are ever neccessary to protect a woman’s health.”
The Justice Department’s motion contends that the appropriate question for the Court is not whether there is such a dispute, but whether there was substantial evidence to support the findings made by Congress.
The Justice Department asserts that Congress made the specific finding, after weighing the medical evidence, that a “medical ... consensus exists ... that [partial-birth abortion] is never medically necessary and should be prohibited.” This Congressional finding was based upon the following:
Partial-birth abortion “remains a disfavored procedure;”
The “overwhelming evidence” shows that it “is outside the standard of medical care;”
There is no credible evidence that partial-birth abortions are safe or safer than other abortion procedures;” and
“No controlled studies of partial-birth abortions have been conducted nor have any comparative studies been conducted to demonstrate its safety and efficacy compared to other abortion methods.”