The U.S. Supreme Court today ruled that a federal law banning partial birth abortions is constitutional.

The justices ruled, 5 to 4, that a law passed by Congress in 2003 and signed by President Bush does not violate the Constitution by imposing an undue burden on a woman’s right to end a pregnancy. The majority said its ruling reflects the government’s “legitimate, substantial interest in preserving and promoting fetal life.”

“The act, on its face, is not void for vagueness and does not impose an undue burden from any overbreadth,” Justice Anthony M. Kennedy wrote for the court, rejecting key arguments of the law’s opponents.

Colorado Senate President Joan Fitzgerald provides this reaction (received by e-mail, no link) :

“The Supreme Court has ruled today directly against the best interest of women’s health and safety. This latest decision denies doctors the ability to perform a procedure that the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists find necessary and proper in certain circumstances.

Today women have lost access to proper health care during what is already a difficult time in their life. I am saddened for the women who will tragically be denied the safest procedure that would have protected those women’s reproductive health.”

Sen. Betty Boyd (D-Lakewood) responds:

“I am saddened that the Supreme Court feels that they are in a better position to practice medicine than doctors. This decision places political consideration ahead of professional medical decisions. These medical decisions should be made by a patient in concert with her doctor and her family. If the so-called partial birth abortion refers to late term abortions, these are the situations which are most often medically necessary. Sadly, this court decision takes from women some ability to control their own health care decisions.”

Whatever happened to states’ rights, normally the partyline of the Republican party? I guess it depends on which right is at stake.