Hey, is that a unicorn? No, just a little good news about abortion

A federal court unanimously strikes down an abortion ban as unconstitutional.

Published January 31, 2006 9:48PM (EST)

Look what just came over Planned Parenthood's rarely used Good News wire: "Today a three-judge panel on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit ruled unanimously that the federal abortion ban passed by Congress and signed by President Bush is unconstitutional because it fails to protect women's health, poses an undue burden on a woman's right to choose, and is unconstitutionally vague. The ban would outlaw abortions as early as 12 to 15 weeks in pregnancy, including those that doctors say are safe and the best to protect women's health."

"This is a momentous day for the future of women's health and safety," said PPFA interim president Karen Pearl. "While the Senate jeopardized women's health by confirming Samuel Alito to the Supreme Court, our nation's judiciary reaffirmed the long-standing precedent that abortion laws must include protections for women's health or must be struck down entirely when they are unconstitutional."

OK, that was your parade. Now get out your slicker.

See, it's still likely that the "Scalito" court will have the chance to rule on the ban, as it has many other ways of sliming its way up to the Supremes. Planned Parenthood explains: "Just five years ago, the Supreme Court struck down an abortion ban passed by the state of Nebraska because it did not have a health exception, and Justice Sandra Day O'Connor's was the critical fifth vote that upheld protections for women's health and safety. The court is expected to announce shortly whether it will hear Carhart v. Gonzales, another case challenging the federal abortion ban, and the Bush administration has 90 days to ask the U.S. Supreme Court to hear Planned Parenthood v. Gonzales. With Justice Alito confirmed to replace Justice O'Connor, there is dire concern that the Supreme Court will swing in the opposite direction, with five justices who appear ready to undermine protections for women's health and safety, the core issue in all of the abortion ban cases."

By Lynn Harris

Award-winning journalist Lynn Harris is author of the comic novel "Death by Chick Lit" and co-creator of BreakupGirl.net. She also writes for the New York Times, Glamour, and many others.

MORE FROM Lynn Harris

Related Topics ------------------------------------------

Abortion Broadsheet Love And Sex