Prolife Christians are hailing the first significant abortion restriction in the 30 years since Roe v. Wade. On June 4 the U.S. House of Representatives voted 282 to 189 to ban partial-birth abortion. The Senate voted 64 to 33 in March to ban the procedure.
Both Houses passed similar bills twice before. Former President Clinton vetoed them. President Bush has promised to sign a bill as soon as it reaches his desk. The partial-birth ban has been in conference committee since June 5.
"Passage of this important legislation is a shared priority that will help build a culture of life in America," Bush said.
H.R. 760 imposes fines and possible imprisonment for doctors who kill a "partially delivered fetus" except when necessary to save a mother's life. In the procedure, abortionists deliver all but a baby's head. They then crush the skull before removing the dead child from the birth canal.
Three years ago, the Supreme Court struck down a similar ban in Nebraska. Family Research Council's Ken Connor said the new bill—with a tighter definition of the procedure—is a "constitutionally sound" way to ban a "barbaric procedure."
NARAL Pro-Choice America's Kate Michelman said the move is significant: "President Bush and antichoice leaders in the Congress have crossed the Rubicon towards rolling back Roe."
Jay Sekulow of the American Center for Law and Justice said prolife attorneys "stand ready to defend it in the courts."
Recent CT articles on the partial-birth abortion ban include:
Weblog: House Votes to Ban Partial-Birth Abortion | Congress enacts first abortion restriction since Roe v. Wade. (June 5, 2003)
Prolife Advocates Herald Partial-Birth Abortion Ban | President Bush promises to sign May 13 Senate bill. (April 23, ...1