Ban on Partial Birth Abortions

Pro-Life and Pro-Choice advocates are clashing over the U.S. Supreme Courts controversial decision today regarding abortion. In a 5-to-4 vote the justices decided to uphold a federal ban on partial birth abortions.

It's the first restriction on abortion procedure ever approved. The ban eliminates partial birth abortions as an option for mothers and doctors who are choosing to abort a child regardless of the reason. Those on both sides of the issue are speaking out, loudly.

"The supreme court's decision is an affirmation of progress we have made over the past 6 years in protecting human dignity and upholding the sanctity of life. We will continue to work for the day when every child is welcomed in life and protected in law," says Dana Perino, a White House spokeswoman.

President Bush says the decision does not violate a woman's constitutional right to an abortion. One local professional disagrees, saying it does not respect women's health.

"It's too bad that we can't agree no one wants abortion and we ought to try to eliminate it through education and birth control and that when its up to the doctors to handle a medically necessary abortion then it's their judgement, not Alito and not Roberts," says Claudia Stravato with Planned Parenthood.

Stravato is worried this will open the flood gates for states to draw up strict legislation on abortion.

"To have politicians tell doctors what procedures they can use when they're in the process of a medical procedure is just unheard of," says Stravato.

Hundreds in Washington D.C. agree with Stravato. They marched in front of the Supreme Court building today after the ruling came down. While, others in Amarillo are happy to see the ban upheld.

"I think it's a good thing, I don't think something that borders on infanticide is something we should ever condone in this country," says Dr. Brian Eades of Women's Healthcare Associates.

The ban will not go into effect for 6 weeks. Right now, a clinic is Austin is the only place in Texas certified to perform partial birth abortions.