Federal appeals court upholds Virginia’s ban on partial-birth abortions

Judge Paul V. Niemeyer authored the majority opinion in Wednesday’s decision, which won the concurrence of Judge J. Harvie Wilkinson III.

“A partially born child is among the weakest, most helpless beings in our midst and on that account exerts a special claim on our protection,” Judge Wilkinson wrote. “The fact is that we — civilized people — are retreating to the haven of our Constitution to justify dismembering a partly born child and crushing its skull,” his opinion continued. “Surely centuries hence, people will look back on this gruesome practice done in the name of fundamental law by a society of high achievement. And they will shudder.”

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