2002 - July:
FDA removes warning from second part of RU 486 abortion drug. The FDA
agreed to remove that warning in April, and the new label will instead
state that women who are taking Cytotec to treat ulcers should not
become pregnant. The change was made to reflect the fact that the drug
is widely used by doctors to induce labor.
2002 - October:
Study shows that the abortion rate has dropped significantly since ‘94.
The overall U.S. abortion rate fell from 1994 to 2000 - from 24 abortions
for every 1,000 women of childbearing age to just 21, the Alan Guttmacher
2003 - February 17:
Holly Patterson (18) from California dies after taking RU 486. The Alameda
County Coroner’s official autopsy report stated her death was a
result of an incomplete abortion.
2003 - August:
Bush administration expands Pro-Life Mexico City Policy to ban federal
funding of all population programs funded by the State Department --
even if they are not funded through USAID.
2003 - November 5:
President George W. Bush signs Partial Birth Abortion Ban Act of 2003.
This law banned the late-term abortion procedure known as “partial
birth abortion.” Under the law the procedure was defined as “an
abortion in which the person performing the abortion partially vaginally
delivers a living fetus before killing the fetus and completing the delivery.” The
problem results because this language is vague enough that numerous other
common methods of abortion that are used in all trimesters like D&C,
D&E, and the vacuum process could also be banned. These processes
that could be construed as banned are some of the safest and most frequency
used procedures and are the most likely to preserve the fertility of
the woman. This law also contains no clause permitting the procedure
in cases where the women’s health necessitates it. For this reason
it was repeated vetoed during the Clinton administration. It was also
the reason that a similar Nebraska law was struck down in 2000 by the
Supreme Court in Stenberg v. Carhart.
2004 - April 1:
The Unborn Victims of Violence Act, commonly known as “Laci and
Conner’s Law,” passes in Congress and is signed into law
by President George W. Bush.
2004 - April 25:
Numerous organizations hold another March for Women’s Lives in
Washington DC. An estimated 1.15 million people travel from all over
the country to participate in the march.
2004 - June 2:
Federal Judge Phyllis Hamilton of California strikes down the Partial-Birth
Abortion Ban Act on the grounds of unconstitutionally vague language,
undue burden on the woman, and the lack of a provision protecting the
woman’s health only life. Similar decisions expected from federal
courts in Nebraska and New York.
2004 - August 2:
Bush administration appeals partial-birth abortion injunction ordered
by Federal Judge Phyllis Hamilton in the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.
The case is expected to be argued in the U.S. Supreme Court.
2004 - August 26:
Federal District Judge Richard Casey in New York rules that the federal
government cannot enforce the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act because
the law conflicts with the earlier 5-4 Supreme Court ruling of Stenberg
v. Carhart requiring provisions protecting the health of the mother.
2004 - September 14:
A Circuit Court judge dismisses a motion brought forward by Norma McCorvey,
known to legal history as "Roe" in Roe v. Wade, to overturn
the landmark 1973 decision that legalized abortion in the US. In the
1990s, Norma McCorvey converted to a vocal advocate of the pro-life cause
and an Evangelical Christian. Since then she has been working to undue
the effects of the renowned court case that bears her “name.”
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