CNN in the Apr. 18, 2007 article "Supreme Court Upholds Late-Term Abortion Ban" stated that:
"The Supreme Court on Wednesday [April 17, 2007] upheld a law that banned a type of late-term abortion, a ruling that could portend enormous social, legal and political implications for the divisive issue.
The sharply divided 5-4 ruling could prove historic. It sends a possible signal of the court's willingness, under Chief Justice John Roberts, to someday revisit the basic right to abortion guaranteed in the 1973 Roe v. Wade case.
At issue is the constitutionality of a federal law banning a rarely performed type of abortion carried out in the middle-to-late second trimester.
The legal sticking point was that the law lacked a 'health exception' for a woman who might suffer serious medical complications, something the justices have said in the past is necessary when considering abortion restrictions.
In the majority opinion, Justice Anthony Kennedy, the key swing vote in these divided appeals, said the federal law 'does not have the effect of imposing an unconstitutional burden on the abortion right.' He was joined by his fellow conservatives, Justices Antonin Scalia, Clarence Thomas, Samuel Alito and Roberts.
In a bitter dissent read from the bench, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, the only woman on the high court, said the majority's opinion 'cannot be understood as anything other than an effort to chip away a right declared again and again by this court, and with increasing comprehension of its centrality to women's lives.'"