Task Force blasts Supreme Court decision upholding draconian restrictions on women's reproductive freedom

April 18, 2007

Roberta Sklar, Director of Communications

WASHINGTON, April 18 —  In a 5–4 decision in the consolidated cases of Gonzales v. Planned Parenthood and Gonzales v. Carhart, the Supreme Court today upheld a federal abortion ban enacted by Congress and signed by President George W. Bush in 2003. The law, titled the “Partial Birth Abortion Act,” criminalizes abortions in the second trimester of pregnancy even if doctors advise that the abortions would be safe and the best method to protect women’s health.

The decision reverses every federal court that had reviewed the law up to today, all six of which had struck down the law because of its failure to protect women’s health. The decision represents a significant erosion of the precedent supporting a women’s right to bodily autonomy and choice articulated by the court in 1973 in Roe v. Wade. Justice Anthony Kennedy was joined in authoring the majority opinion by Justices Clarence Thomas and Antonin Scalia, as well as by Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Samuel Alito, both recent Bush appointees.

Statement by Matt Foreman, Executive Director
National Gay and Lesbian Task Force

“Today’s decision is the direct result of President Bush being allowed to put Samuel Alito and John Roberts — ultraconservatives committed to elevating ideology over the health and safety of women — on the Supreme Court. With this decision, a majority of our nation’s highest court permitted itself to be a tool of the anti-choice movement instead of preserving a woman’s constitutionally protected right to make childbearing choices in consultation with family members and medical care providers. This is a sad day for America and our Constitution.”


The mission of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force is to build the political power of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community from the ground up. We do this by training activists, organizing broad-based campaigns to defeat anti-LGBT referenda and advance pro-LGBT legislation, and by building the organizational capacity of our movement. Our Policy Institute, the movement’s premier think tank, provides research and policy analysis to support the struggle for complete equality and to counter right-wing lies. As part of a broader social justice movement, we work to create a nation that respects the diversity of human expression and identity and creates opportunity for all. Headquartered in Washington, D.C., we also have offices in New York City, Los Angeles, Miami, Minneapolis and Cambridge.