U.S. Senator Tom Coburn, M.D. (R-OK), a practicing physician who has delivered nearly 4,000 babies, released the following statement today regarding the Supreme Court's 5-4 decision upholding the federal Partial Birth Abortion Ban Act.
"For the first time, the Supreme Court has recognized that partially delivering a baby before ending its life is not a Constitutional right' in this country. I'm pleased the court faithfully applied not only the law, but basic principles of science and reason. Partial birth abortion is a barbaric act that is never medically necessary," Dr. Coburn said
"I hope this ruling prompts the American people and legislatures across our country to engage in a healthy discussion about not only this decision but the underlying questions in this debate," Dr. Coburn added. "The partial birth abortion debate, I believe, has shown that the claim that a few inches in the birth canal separate personhood from non-personhood is untenable from a legal, moral and scientific perspective. The questions of when life begins and when it deserves protection under the law are the most important questions we can consider and, in many ways, define the character of our nation. I hope we reach a point when we are able to eliminate abortion, but I recognized that process will require not only a change of laws, but a change of attitude. I hope this ruling will challenge all Americans to consider that children deserve legal protection long before they reach the birth canal."
Dr. Coburn was one of the original authors of the 1995 bill banning partial birth abortion. In addition, Dr. Coburn signed the Amicus curiae, or friend of the court, brief in favor of upholding the ban on partial birth abortion.