CHICAGO, Sept. 15 Americans United for Life (AUL) today filed an amicus brief arguing Virginia's Partial Birth Abortion Infanticide Act is constitutional and should be upheld.
AUL Staff Counsel Mailee Smith stated, "Time and time again, the U.S. Supreme Court has affirmed that states have a significant interest in protecting women and children from the harm inherent in abortion. That is precisely what the Act does."
AUL Vice President & Legal Director Denise Burke stated, "In an earlier decision, a three-judge panel 'split hairs' looking for conflict where there was none, in a seeming effort to strike down a law nearly identical to the federal partial-birth abortion ban upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court last year."
"Courts usually give great deference to legislative enactments, making every effort to find them constitutional and enforceable. Here, the panel did the opposite," Burke continued.
In their brief, AUL argues the usual standard of deference to legislative enactments should apply to Virginia's Partial Birth Infanticide Act.
The Act was ruled unconstitutional by a three-judge panel despite the fact that it mirrors the federal partial birth abortion ban upheld by the Supreme Court in its Gonzales decision in April 2007.
AUL's amicus curiae brief was filed on behalf of Virginia Delegate Robert G. Marshall (chief patron of the ban when it was enacted in 2003), ten other Virginia legislators, and U.S. Senator Tom A. Coburn, M.D., in the case Richmond Medical Center v. Herring, challenging Virginia's Partial Birth Infanticide Act. The case is currently before the entire panel of Fourth Circuit judges. Oral argument in the case is scheduled for October 28, 2008.
AUL's brief is available at
About Americans United for Life
Americans United for Life (AUL) is a nonprofit, public-interest law and policy organization whose vision is a nation in which every human being is welcomed in life and protected in law. The first national pro-life organization in America, AUL has been committed to defending human life through vigorous judicial, legislative, and educational efforts at both the federal and state levels since 1971. The Wall Street Journal has profiled AUL, and PBS' Frontline program chronicled AUL's successful efforts in Mississippi.
SOURCE Americans United For Life