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."

—Stan Guthrie




Related Elsewhere



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, 2003)
Weblog: Senate Bans Partial-Birth Abortion | After a 64-33 vote, the measure moves to the House. (March 13, 2003)
Weblog: Senate Likely to Pass Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Thursday (March 11, 2003)
The New Partial-Birth Abortion Bill and Old Myths | Unconstitutional? Rare? Dangerous? Don't believe the disinformation campaign. (Feb. 24, 2003)
New Congress, New Agenda | Abortion, judgeships, cloning ban are top priorities for conservative Christians. (Dec. 11, 2002)
Weblog: House Passes Partial-Birth Abortion Ban. Again. (June 26, 2002)
Partial Birth: What Next? | Louisiana's special assistant attorney general questions well-intentioned lawmakers. (August 16, 2000)

More Christianity Today abortion stories can be found at our life ethics archive. Previous articles about abortion in the U.S. include:

Saved by Sonogram | Ultrasounds help crisis pregnancy centers reduce abortion. (Feb. 24, 2003)
New Life for Prolife | Abortion is no longer the ghastly growth industry it was in the 1970s and 1980s. (Feb. 24, 2003)
Prolife as Mafia? | Supreme Court to decide if racketeering laws apply to anti-abortion activities. (Jan. 15, 2003)
Saving Black Babies | Abortion has cost 13 million African American lives. (Jan. 19, 2003)
Abortion and the Court | The Roe v. Wade decision runs counter to the moral sense of the American people.
Reversing Roe v. Wade | It may take more than a single court decision to counter abortion on demand.
You Say Choice, I Say Murder | Before prolife arguments can reach the undecided American, we have got to look at the language we use.
FDA Candidate Irks Abortion Pill Advocates | The Christian Medical Association says critics fear David Hager's "well-grounded" opposition. (Nov. 26, 2002)
Embracing the Unwanted | Chinese American Christians are starting to become more openly prolife. (May 9, 2002)
Doctors Slow to Prescribe Abortion Pill | Since RU-486's approval, rising safety concerns and common side effects have led to little use. (Nov. 12, 2001)
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Whistleblower Fired | Nurse Jill Stanek's lawyer calls action retaliation for prolife views. (Oct. 26, 2001)
Bush's Prolife Strategy Questioned | White House chief of staff says abortion isn't on list of public policy priorities. (June 15, 2001)
Counteroffensive Launched on RU-486 | Abortion-pill critics allege safety concerns overlooked in FDA approval process." (June 15, 2001)
Virginia Okays Waiting Period For Abortion | NARAL says 43 prolife measures were passed at the state level last year. (April 2, 2001)
Bitter Pills | What does RU-486 change about abortion? (December 11, 2000)
House Passes Bill to Protect Babies Outside the Womb | Protection for infants who survive abortions draws 380-15 approval. (Sept. 28, 2000)
Partial Birth: What Next? | Louisiana's special assistant attorney general questions well-intentioned lawmakers. (August 7, 2000)
The Abortion Debate Is Over | Pro-lifers overestimated the average American's allegiance to logic. (Dec. 6, 1999)
Partial-birth Abortion Ban May Go to Supreme Court | Differing appeals court rulings increases chances of forthcoming decision. (Nov. 8, 1999)
Abortion Is Not a "Necessary Evil" | Why Americans oppose abortion but want to keep it legal. (May 24, 1999)
Refocusing the Pro-life Agenda | The pro-life cause is winning the battle of persuasion in the minds of many Americans. (March 1, 1999)
Abortion's Untold Story | How journalist Cynthia Gorney has helped both sides of the abortion debate to view the other side honestly. (April 27, 1998)
Wanted: A New Pro-life Strategy | Twenty-five years after Roe, and 37 million abortions later, we have to admit we are losing the fight. (Jan. 12, 1998)
Roe v. McCorvey | What made "Roe" betray the pro-choice cause? (Jan. 12, 1998)
States Approving Bans on Partial-Birth Abortion | Lawmakers are no longer waiting on federal bill. (October 27, 1997)
Pro-life Legislation Makes Strides | Laws already have been enacted in a dozen states to ban partial-birth abortion. (July 14, 1997)
Profamily Victories Tempered by Abortion Override Failure (Nov. 11, 1996)
Abortion Pill Seems on Fast Track | Pro-life activists say they will now concentrate their opposition efforts on grassroots education about the drug's potential dangers. (Sept. 16, 1996)
You Say Choice, I Say Murder |Before prolife arguments can reach the undecided American, we have got to look at the language we use. (June 24, 1991)
The Abortion Wars | What most Christians don't know about the history of pro-life struggles. (Oct. 6, 1989)
Reversing Roe v. Wade | It may take more than a single court decision to counter abortion on demand. (Sept. 20, 1985)
Arguments in Favor of Abortion Are Strong… |…if you accept one all-important assumption. (July 15, 1983)
Abortion and the Court | The Roe v. Wade decision runs counter to the moral sense of the American people. (Feb. 16, 1973)

Our digital archives are a work in progress. Let us know if corrections need to be made.