Cathy Mahoney

NARAL Pro-Choice America

Cathy Mahoney joined NARAL Pro-Choice America in July 2006 as its Legal Director.  Prior to accepting that position, she served for 16 years in the U.S. Department of Justice, where she handled a variety of criminal matters, including civil rights and antitrust prosecutions.  From 1999-2006, she served as the Director of the Department's Task Force on Violence against Reproductive Health Care Providers, which focused on the investigation and prosecution of acts of clinic violence, including violations of the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances Act, and from 2000-2006, she also served as Deputy Chief of the Criminal Section of the Civil Rights Division.  Prior to joining the Justice Department, Ms. Mahoney was in private practice in Atlanta, GA, where she authored several amicus briefs opposing that state's parental notification statute.  After graduating from Yale Law School, she clerked for the Honorable James Moran in the Northern District of Illinois.   She is a graduate of Stanford University (A.B., English and French, with distinction), and a member of Phi Beta Kappa.

A Chilling Reminder

Cathy Mahoney is the Legal Director for NARAL Pro-Choice America.

Last Wednesday, the United States Supreme Court heard oral arguments in two cases challenging the Federal Abortion Ban, passed by Congress and signed by President Bush in 2003. More than anything else, the decision to schedule this argument, the day after a now monumental election day, serves as a chilling reminder of what's at stake for women's health and Americans' right to privacy now that the Court has been reconfigured by President Bush and his anti-choice colleagues in the Senate.

What the arguments made clear are two points that[img_assist|nid=1353|title=Special Series|desc=|link=none|align=right|width=89|height=100] everyone who has a wife, girlfriend, mother, or sister ought to care about: This ban reaches abortions as early as the 12th week in pregnancy: So early, in fact, that even the Bush administration concedes that the Court would need to rewrite the statute to find it constitutional. Further, and equally as notable: It contains no exception to protect a woman's health.

For over 30 years, in decision after decision since Roe v. Wade, the courts have made it clear that restrictions on abortion must contain protections for women's health, yet Congress deliberately chose not to include one when it enacted this law.