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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Wednesday, September 8, 2004

CONTACT:

NAF Communications Department
202-667-5881

Federal Abortion Ban Struck Down Today in Nebraska

ACLU and the National Abortion Federation Hail Third Ruling to Protect Women's Health

NEW YORK - The National Abortion Federation (NAF) and the American Civil Liberties Union today praised a ruling by a federal court judge in Nebraska striking down the "Partial Birth Abortion Ban Act of 2003." Today's decision was the third decision to permanently enjoin the sweeping ban, which was challenged in three federal courts late last year.

"This is the third court to recognize that the federal abortion ban jeopardizes women's health and is clearly unconstitutional," said Vicki Saporta, NAF President and CEO. "The three court rulings confirm the necessity of allowing women and their doctors to make medical decisions free from the interference of politicians."

Last month, a federal district judge in New York struck down the federal abortion ban in a challenge brought by NAF and seven individual physicians, represented by the ACLU and Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr LLP (NAF v. Ashcroft). In June, a federal district judge in San Francisco struck down the federal abortion ban in a challenge brought by the Planned Parenthood Federation of America (Planned Parenthood v. Ashcroft).

"Today's decision, along with the two that preceded it, make clear that in passing this far-reaching ban on second-trimester abortions, Congress and the president willingly gambled with the Constitution and with women's health," said Louise Melling, Director of the ACLU Reproductive Freedom Project. "How many more court decisions will it take for them to stop placing their political agenda above the health care needs of American women?"

NAF is the professional association of abortion providers in the United States and Canada. NAF members care for more than half the women who choose abortion each year in the United States. They include clinics, doctors' offices, and hospitals, including premier teaching hospitals.

The ACLU is our nation's guardian of liberty, working daily in courts, legislatures and communities to defend and preserve the individual rights and liberties guaranteed to every person in this country by the Constitution and laws of the United States.

To learn about all three challenges to the federal abortion ban, visit www.federalabortionban.org.

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The National Abortion Federation is the professional association of abortion providers in the U.S. and Canada dedicated to ensuring that abortion remains safe, legal, and accessible.
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