Communications Department

NRLC Applauds 4th Circuit Ruling on VA Partial-Birth Infanticide Ban

Jun 25, 2009 | 2009 Press Releases

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, the National Right to Life Committee (NRLC) applauded the 6-5 ruling by the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals upholding the Commonwealth of Virginia’s ban on partial-birth infanticide. The ruling overturns the previous decision of a three-judge panel of the Court and allows the Commonwealth’s statute protecting women and their pre-born children to stand.

In a compelling concurring opinion, Judge Wilkinson recalled the often-ignored interest of the state in protecting human life, writing: “A partially born child is among the weakest, most helpless beings in our midst and on that account exerts a special claim on our protection.”

Today’s decision follows the strong precedent established by the Supreme Court’s decision in Gonzales v. Carhart (2007) upholding the federal Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act. Notably, President Barack Obama, who has cited a respect for judicial precedent as criteria for his judicial nominees, voiced his strong disagreement with the Gonzales decision while serving as U.S. senator from Illinois, couching his support for partial-birth abortion as a matter of women’s health.

In contrast, Mary Spaulding Balch, J.D., NRLC director of State Legislation asserts that “To maintain that puncturing the skull and removing the brain of a child who is in the process of being born is necessary for the health of the mother is a fallacy. We are relieved by the Court’s decision to allow the Commonwealth of Virginia to protect mothers and their children from the egregious procedure of partial-birth abortion.”

The National Right to Life Committee is the nation’s largest pro-life group with affiliates in all 50 states and over 3,000 local chapters nationwide. National Right to Life works through legislation and education to protect those threatened by abortion, infanticide, euthanasia and assisted suicide.