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Total Victory on Partial-Birth Abortion

Prolife leaders applaud Supreme Court's first regulation on an abortion procedure.

Prolife leaders celebrated Wednesday after the Supreme Court upheld the 2003 federal law banning partial-birth abortions. The law, which prohibits doctors from using the dilation and extraction procedure to abort a baby, is the first regulation on an abortion procedure the Supreme Court has affirmed.

"I'm so pleased," said Richard Cizik, vice president for governmental affairs of the National Association of Evangelicals. "I have to admit I let out a whoop."

The decision split 5-4, with Chief Justice John Roberts and Justices Antonin Scalia, Samuel Alito, Clarence Thomas, and Anthony Kennedy voting to uphold the law. Kennedy wrote the majority opinion.

The majority disagreed with the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals, which called the federal ban too vague and said it imposed an undue burden by being too broad and not including an exception to protect the health of a pregnant woman.

"We conclude that the Act is not void for vagueness, does not impose an undue burden from any overbreadth and is ...

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