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In ruling the ban on partial-birth abortions unconstitutional, U.S. District Court Judge Phyllis Hamilton said the fact that unborn children feel intense pain during the gruesome abortion procedure is “irrelevant.”

“There is no consensus of medical opinion on the issue,” Judge Hamilton wrote in her ruling. “However, it appears to be irrelevant to the question of whether [partial-birth abortion] should be banned.” In fact, Hamilton said the issue of fetal pain is also not germane because unborn children may feel greater pain in other abortion procedures such as “disarticulation abortions” — where the baby is dismembered. “Although Congress justified the ban in part on its finding that the partial-birth abortion method would cause excruciating pain to the partly born infant, Judge Hamilton dismissed this factor,” the National Right to Life Committee said in a statement. Several doctors told Hamilton, a Clinton appointee, that the Congressional findings were accurate. Dr. Kanwaljeet Anand, a pain specialist, said that unborn children feel enormous pain during an abortion and show increased heart rate, blood flow, and hormone levels in response to pain. Hamilton ruled the ban on partial-birth abortion, which President Bush signed into law last fall, is unconstitutional. “The act poses an undue burden on a woman’s right to choose an abortion,” U.S. District Judge Phyllis Hamilton wrote in her decision. Scores of medical experts, and the AMA, have repeatedly noted that PBA, more accurately recognized as infanticide, is never necessary to preserve the life of the mother.[1June04, San Francisco;, 2June04,]