U.S. Supreme Court Decision Undermines Roe v. Wade

Apr 18, 2007
ACLU of Northern California

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ACLU of Northern CA

The U.S. Supreme Court decision  issued on April 18, 2007 upholding a federal law banning certain abortions will endanger women's health and is a set back for all Americans who believe politicians should not legislate medical decision-making.  The decision disregards the opinion of leading doctors and medical organizations that oppose the ban because it is harmful to women's health.

The decision undermines a core principle of Roe v. Wade that women's health must remain paramount and invites politicians into the waiting room of doctor's offices and into the doctor-patient relationship.  Leading doctors and medical organizations throughout the country have firmly opposed the federal ban, including the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, which represents 90 percent of OB-GYNs in the country.

The ruling was in the cases Gonzales v. Carhart, brought by the Center for Reproductive Rights on behalf of Dr. LeRoy Carhart and three other physicians, and Gonzales v. Planned Parenthood Federation of America, brought by Planned Parenthood  Federation of America on behalf of its affiliates throughout the country.  A third challenge to the ban, National Abortion Federation v. Gonzales, was brought by NAF and seven individual physicians, represented by the ACLU, Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr LLP, the ACLU of Illinois, and the New York Civil Liberties Union.

-Maya Harris
Executive Director of the ACLU of Northern California