Abortion Case

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Doctor LeRoy Carhart of Bellevue is scheduled to testify Thursday in the trial challenging the federal Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act.

Carhart led the fight in 2000 to get the U.S. Supreme Court to strike down Nebraska's ban on the procedure, which opponents call a "partial-birth abortion."

Carhart's testimony follows three days of similar testimony from other doctors in U.S. District Court in Lincoln. The case stems from a lawsuit filed by the Center for Reproductive Rights.

The ban has not been enforced, because judges in three cities agreed to hear evidence before deciding whether it violates the constitution.

Other challenges to the ban, filed by the National Abortion Federation and the Planned Parenthood Federation of America, are being heard this week in San Francisco and New York.

The federal Partial-Birth Abortion Act, signed into law by President Bush last year, bars the procedure that medical organizations refer to as "intact dilation and extraction" - or D&X.

Lawyers for the center contend that the federal law is vague and could be interpreted as covering more common, less controversial procedures.