Friday, June 03, 2005

Fourth Circuit panel rules Virginia partial birth abortion statute is unconstitutional

In Richmond Medical Center v. Hicks, the Fourth Circuit in an opinion by Judge Michael, joined by Judge Motz, and with a very lengthy dissenting opinion by Judge Niemeyer, affirmed the earlier decision by Judge Williams of the E.D. Va. that a Virginia statute from 2003 aimed at prohibiting "partial birth abortion" is unconstitutional because it contains no exception related to the health of the mother.

Judge Niemeyer's dissent concludes: "Can we not see that our discussions and the law we make in striking down Virginia’s prohibition are unfit for the laws of a people of liberty? I wonder with befuddlement, fear, and sadness, how we can so joyfully celebrate the birth of a child, so zealously protect an infant and a mother who is pregnant, so reverently wonder about how human life begins, grows, and develops, and at the same time write to strike down a law to preserve a right to destroy a partially born infant. If the disconnect is explained by personal convenience, then we must reason that all morality is personal, without commonality and source. The product of such chaos is unfathomable."

No comments: