2002-Today

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2000- 2001

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 Institute reported.

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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Last Updated 12/17/04
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