Gonzales v. Carhart: Its Aftermath and Implications for Abortion Regulation and Jurisprudence

Religous Liberties Practice Group, The American Constitution Society, and The Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life

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On April 18, 2007, the Supreme Court ruled that the Federal Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act of 2003 does not violate a constitutional right to abortion. The 5-4 decision in the case, Gonzales v. Carhart, upheld, for the first time, a law that bans a specific abortion method, even though it does not contain an explicit exception for considering the mother’s health.

The action now moves to the states, where many legislatures are expected to consider new abortion restrictions and strengthen old ones. This whirlwind of action in state legislatures will likely produce accompanying activity before the nation’s courts, since new abortion restrictions are likely to be challenged.

Panelists include:

  • Eve C. Gartner, Senior Staff Attorney, Planned Parenthood Federation of America
  • Marsha D. Greenberger, President, National Women’s Law Center
  • Cathleen Cleaver Ruse, Senior Fellow-Legal Studies, The Family Research Council
  • M. Edward Whelan, III, President, Ethics and Public Policy Center
  • Judith C. Applebaum, Director of Programs, The American Constitution Society, Moderator