LawFuel – Law Newswire – The Washington Post reports that the The Supreme Court decision upholding the federal ban on a controversial abortion procedure started playing out in Virginia yesterday, as the justices ordered a Richmond-based appellate court to reconsider the state law it struck down barring the procedure.
In 2005, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit overturned Virginia’s ban on what opponents call “partial birth infanticide.” A three-judge panel, citing Supreme Court precedent, found the measure unconstitutional because it lacks an exception to safeguard a woman’s health.
But the Supreme Court reversed course last week, upholding the Partial Birth Abortion Ban Act passed by Congress in 2003. Yesterday, the high court followed up by vacating the 4th Circuit decision and sending the case back to Richmond for review, “in light of” the ruling last week. A similar appellate court decision striking down Missouri’s ban on the procedure also will be reconsidered.
The Supreme Court’s decision marked the first time justices have agreed that a specific abortion procedure could be banned. Yesterday, abortion rights supporters and opponents agreed that the 4th Circuit could reverse itself and allow the Virginia ban to take effect.