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Supreme Court Holds Hearings on Partial-Birth Abortions


Aired 4/19/09

Tom Fudge : Political animals, yesterday, were focused on the Democrats’ victories in the House and the Senate. Meanwhile, legal eagles were paying close attention to what was going on in the halls of the U.S. Supreme court.

The nine justices were hearing arguments in a very important case in the debate over abortion. At issue, is a federal law that bans what some people call partial-birth abortion. Medical professions use the technical expression “dilation and extraction” to describe the late-term procedure.

Lawyers for the Bush administration argue the practice is gruesome and too close to infanticide. But critics of the ban say the practice is poorly defined in the law, and it is not performed on viable fetuses.

  • Julie Rovner, health policy correspondent for National Public Radio, specializing in the politics of health care.

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