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Sixth Circuit strikes down Michigan 'partial-birth' abortion ban

[JURIST] A three-judge panel of the US Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit [official website] ruled unanimously Monday that Michigan's ban on what opponents of the procedure call "partial-birth" abortion is unconstitutional [opinion text, PDF] because it "fails to comply with the explicit limitations that the Supreme Court has established for statutes regulating abortion." Instead of banning a particular medical procedure, the Michigan statute [text] created a protected legal status for a partially delivered fetus. The court determined that since the statute did not distinguish between a viable and a pre-viable fetus, in effect it would ban a number of pre-viable abortions, including the most common abortion [JURIST news archive] procedure performed during the second trimester. AP has more.

In related news, Louisiana may become the first state to enact a "partial-birth" abortion ban following the Supreme Court's April decision which upheld the federal ban [JURIST report]. The Louisiana Senate [official website] will debate a bill [HB 614 materials] this week that was unanimously passed by the Louisiana House [official website], as well as another bill [SB 161 materials] proposed by a state senator. Both bills ban the procedure, and establish criminal liability for doctors who perform it. AP has more.

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