Contact: Bill O’Reilly, 212-396-9117 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 4, 2013
To: Members of the News Media
From: Greg Pfundstein, President, Chiaroscuro Foundation
Re: Important Point of Information on New York Abortion Issue
Some supporters of Governor Cuomo’s abortion bill have been saying that it would “codify federal law.”
That is factually incorrect.
Current federal law is based not on Roe v. Wade alone but on Roe as modified by Planned Parenthood v. Casey (1992), which allows sensible restrictions on abortion.
Roe v. Wade struck down all state laws prohibiting abortion, prohibited restriction before viability except to protect the safety of women, required an extremely broad health exception up until birth, and established a strict scrutiny test for any restriction on abortion.
In Planned Parenthood v Casey (1992), the Court held that at viability the state’s interest in the life of the fetus outweighs the woman’s right to abortion. It also struck down the strict scrutiny test of Roe and replaced it with an undue burden test for restrictions on abortion. It thus upheld 4 of the 5 restrictions Pennsylvania had legislated.
In Gonzalez v Carhart, the Court held that the federal government could prohibit certain types of procedures, thereby restricting the rights of physicians to perform abortions in any way they see fit. Such a restriction would not be allowed under the Roe regime’s strict scrutiny test: the court held that the restriction did not constitute an undue burden, thereby relying on Casey, rather than Roe.
If Roe v. Wade had not been modified by Planned Parenthood v. Casey, the following pieces of federal egislation, which have been enacted, would not have been possible:
Born-Alive Infants Protection Act
Unborn Victims of Violence Act
Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act
Codifying Roe v Wade in New York would eliminate the progress made in the last 40 years toward a more sensible abortion regime.