NEW YORK, Aug. 26 (UPI) -- A judge in New York Thursday struck down the federal ban on "partial-birth" abortion as unconstitutional, saying it made no exception for a mother's health.
In Washington, House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi praised the ruling.
"Today the (U.S.) District Court confirmed what we have known and have said time and again since this legislation was introduced," Pelosi said in a statement. "The federal ban on abortion procedures is extreme, it violates a woman's right to make private medical decisions, and it endangers women's health."
But Justice Department spokeswoman Monica Goodling said the judge "found in his opinion, this procedure is 'gruesome, brutal, barbaric, and uncivilized,' and causes partially-born children 'severe pain'" and the department would continue to defend the law.
The department has already appealed a similar ruling by a federal judge in San Francisco. A federal judge in Nebraska has also outlawed the ban. The dispute is expected to reach the U.S. Supreme Court.