“Today, the Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit granted Virginia’s petition to rehear en banc the Center for Reproductive Rights’ case against Virginia’s abortion ban.”

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… [I]in May of this year, a three- judge panel of the Fourth Circuit struck down the Virginia law finding it extremely broad such that “every time” a doctor set out to perform any standard second trimester abortion, “he faces the unavoidable risk of criminal prosecution, conviction, and imprisonment.” The panel declared that the law imposed an undue burden on a woman’s right to obtain an abortion. Richmond Medical Center v. Herring is the second such appellate court ruling since the Supreme Court upheld a federal abortion ban in the case Gonzales v. Carhart in April 2007. The first ruling came from the Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit which struck down a Michigan ban in June 2007. Please find today’s court order here. Oral argument in the case is tentatively scheduled for October 28-31, 2008.

Dionne Scott
Senior Press Officer
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