[JURIST] A federal appeals court ruled [PDF opinion] Thursday that congressional legislation that permits medical insurance for US military personnel to pay only for abortions needed to save the life of the mother was constitutional. The three judge panel from the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit [official website] criticized the legislation however, as "callous and unfeeling." The federal courts have long recognized that federal funds cannot be required to pay for abortions except in special circumstances due to the government's "interest in protecting human life in general and promoting respect for life." Legal representatives for the US Navy sailor's wife who challenged the insurance ruling said that no decision had been reached about whether to appeal the court's ruling. AP has more.