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Gonzales v. Carhart: Amicus brief of the National Abortion Federation

STATEMENT OF THE CASE
Nebraska

Fewer than four years after the Supreme Court struck Nebraska’s ban on “partial-birth abortion,” Stenberg v. Carhart, 530 U.S. 914 (2000), Congress passed the challenged Act. In three separate cases, physicians and medical providers – suing on behalf of themselves and their patients – claimed that the Act suffers from the same constitutional flaws as the Nebraska ban that this Court had struck down: the failure to include an exception to protect women’s health, and broad language that sweeps within it the most common second-trimester, pre-viability abortion procedures. All three trial courts and three appellate courts to review the Act agreed that it violates the norms articulated in Stenberg. See Planned Parenthood Fed’n of Am., Inc. v. Gonzales, 435 F.3d 1163 (9th Cir. 2006), cert. granted, 126 S. Ct. 2901 (2006); Carhart v. Gonzales, 413 F.3d 791 (8th Cir. 2005), cert. granted, 126 S. Ct. 1314 (2006); NAF v. Gonzales, 437 F.3d 278. The NAF case is stayed pending this Court’s review of the other two cases.