Shortly after President Bush signed the partial-birth abortion ban into law, a federal judge in [Lincoln,] Nebraska said the pro-life law is unconstitutional and issued a temporary injunction against it. “It seems to me the law is highly suspect, if not a per se violation of the constitution,” said U.S. District Judge Richard Kopf. Kopf agreed with a previous Supreme Court decision and said the law should have included a health exception.

[Anti-abortion] groups say a health exception is unnecessary and would make the ban useless as any reason can be given to justify a partial-birth abortion as necessary to protect a mother’s health. “While it is also true that Congress found that a health exception is not needed, it is, at the very least, problematic whether I should defer to such a conclusion when the Supreme Court has found otherwise,” Kopf said.

[…] U.S. Justice Department attorney Anthony Coppolino told Kopf that he should show deference to Congress’ findings that the abortion procedure is not medically necessary. […]

Kopf also said the bill did not present “an objective” presentation of the facts and had a “serious vagueness problem.” He also wondered why Congress didn’t invite those who perform partial-birth abortions to testify [to Congress]. [LeRoy Carhart, who performs partial-birth abortions in Omaha] has been in court before in an attempt to block a ban on partial-birth abortions. He sued to overturn Nebraska’s state ban and, in 2000, the Supreme Court agreed that the law was unconstitutional. [It] was Kopf who originally ruled that the Nebraska ban was unconstitutional.

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