Third judge strikes down federal partial-birth abortion ban

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U.S. District Judge Richard Kopf in Lincoln, Neb., became the third federal judge in about 4 months to strike down the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act. In September, the judge deemed the law unconstitutional because it failed to provide a "health exception" for instances in which a woman's health is at stake.

U.S. District Judge Richard Kopf in Lincoln, Neb., became the third federal judge in about 4 months to strike down the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act. In September, the judge deemed the law unconstitutional because it failed to provide a "health exception" for instances in which a woman's health is at stake.

Under the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act,procedures that require the partial removal of an intact fetus from a woman's body before abortion are outlawed. Violators of the law could face felony charges, prison terms of up to 2 years, and fines up to $250,000, according to the electronic newsletter American Health Line (9/9/04).

Kopf's page ruling follows similar judgments made in different districts. U.S. District Judge Richard Casey of New York ruled the law unconstitutional in August, and U.S. District Judge Phyllis Hamilton of the Northern District of California did the same in June.

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