Court to Decide Abortion Law case

Monday, June 19, 2006; 10:10 AM

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Supreme Court said on Monday it would expand its review of a federal law banning some abortion procedures and would decide a California case on whether the law was too vague and imposed a burden on women.

The justices in February agreed to rule on a Nebraska case on whether the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act of 2003 is unconstitutional because it lacks an exception to protect the health of a pregnant woman.

The California case involved additional issues on whether the law imposed an undue burden on a woman's right to seek an abortion and whether it is unconstitutionally vague. A U.S. appeals court declared the law unconstitutional and upheld an injunction barring its enforcement.

Both cases will be decided in the upcoming term that begins in October. The law represents the first nationwide ban on an abortion procedure since the Supreme Court's landmark 1973 ruling that women have a constitutional right to abortion.