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A Chilling Reminder

Cathy Mahoney is the Legal Director for NARAL Pro-Choice America.

Last Wednesday, the United States Supreme Court heard oral arguments in two cases challenging the Federal Abortion Ban, passed by Congress and signed by President Bush in 2003. More than anything else, the decision to schedule this argument, the day after a now monumental election day, serves as a chilling reminder of what's at stake for women's health and Americans' right to privacy now that the Court has been reconfigured by President Bush and his anti-choice colleagues in the Senate.

What the arguments made clear are two points that[img_assist|nid=1353|title=Special Series|desc=|link=none|align=right|width=89|height=100] everyone who has a wife, girlfriend, mother, or sister ought to care about: This ban reaches abortions as early as the 12th week in pregnancy: So early, in fact, that even the Bush administration concedes that the Court would need to rewrite the statute to find it constitutional. Further, and equally as notable: It contains no exception to protect a woman's health.

For over 30 years, in decision after decision since Roe v. Wade, the courts have made it clear that restrictions on abortion must contain protections for women's health, yet Congress deliberately chose not to include one when it enacted this law.

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