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Appeals court holds partial-birth abortion ban unconstitutional

[JURIST] The US Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals in St. Louis Friday upheld a Nebraska federal district court ruling [JURIST report] in Carhart v. Gonzalez [appeals opinion, PDF] finding the federal Partial Birth Abortion Ban Act [text] unconstitutional because it lacks an exception for the health of the mother. Federal courts in San Francisco [JURIST report] and New York [JURIST report] have already issued similar rulings and the issue is expected to reach the US Supreme Court. In Friday's appeals court opinion, Judge Kermit Bye said, "when ‘substantial medical authority' supports the medical necessity of a procedure in some instances, a health exception is constitutionally required." The Center for Constitutional Rights, which brought the Carhart case in Nebraska, provides background and materials. AP has more.

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