Semi-perennial abortion bill may finally have a chance
The House voted 274 to 151 on Wednesday in favor of banning partial-birth abortion procedures. This is the sixth time since 1995 that such a ban has been debated in Congress. But this time, supporters say, the ban (H.R. 4965) could finally become federal law.
"This time it is for keeps," Ohio Representative Steve Chabot told The New York Times.
The difference is President Bush. Bill Clinton vetoed partial-birth abortion bans twice as president. "We now have a president who will sign this bill," House Majority Leader Dick Armey told Reuters. "It must not become another tombstone in the Senate's legislative graveyard."
Yesterday the bill was read into the Senate. The last time a partial-birth abortion ban passed in the Senate, 14 Democrats, including majority leader Senator Tom Daschle, voted for it. But those opposed to the bill are counting on Daschle to stop it from coming to the floor. Both in 1996 and 1997, the Senate sustained Clinton's veto of the ban.
While the ban has been considered almost every year since Republicans gained House control in 1995, this is the first vote on it since the Supreme Court's 2000 ruling that Nebraska's similar ban was unconstitutional. Justices found that the ban did not provide an exception to protect the health of the mother. The current ban's sponsors have attached to the bill 15 pages of findings showing that such an abortion has never been necessary to save a woman's life.
Governor's Program on Abstinence must stop promoting religion
U.S. District Judge G. Thomas Porteous Jr. yesterday ordered Louisiana to stop using tax dollars earmarked for abstinence education to "convey religious messages or otherwise advance religion."
In May, ...1
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