New York, NY, October 21, 2003 … The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) criticized today's approval by the U.S. Senate of legislation which would curtail women's constitutional right to make their own reproductive choices. The bill criminalizing the midterm dilation and extraction procedure – misleadingly referred to as "partial-birth abortion" – was approved by the House in June. President Bush has announced his intention to sign the measure into law.
"This legislation wrongly intrudes on an individual's most personal decisions. The government should not interfere in matters of individual conscience," said Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director. "This measure imposes an unconstitutional burden on individual privacy and religious liberty. In a country of varied religious and personal beliefs, the Constitution clearly mandates that the government should not pick sides and impose one view on all citizens."
In 2000, in Stenberg v. Carhart, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down a similar broad ban in Nebraska. ADL, along with 53 other organizations, filed an amicus curiae or "friend of the court" brief which said the Nebraska law unconstitutionally interfered in matters of individual choice and religious significance and impermissibly advocated certain beliefs over others.
ADL will continue to oppose legislative efforts such as this to limit the rights guaranteed by the Supreme Court's landmark decisions thirty years ago in Roe v. Wade.