After eight years of intense effort by pro-life groups, President Bush signed a ban on partial-birth abortion yesterday. Bush said, "The best case against partial birth abortion is a simple description of what happens and to whom it happens. It involves the partial delivery of a live boy or girl, and a sudden, violent end of that life. Our nation owes its children a different and better welcome."
As pro-life organizations expected, abortion-rights groups have already filed suit to overturn the ban. A Nebraska judge issued a restraining order to exempt the law from applying to the four doctors who brought the suit. Judge Richard Kopf, a George H. W. Bush appointee, said, "While it is also true that Congress found that a health exception is not needed, it is, at the very least, problematic whether I should defer to such a conclusion when the Supreme Court has found otherwise,"
The Supreme Court earlier overturned a Nebraska ban on partial-birth abortion. President Clinton vetoed two other bills that banned the procedure. A third stalled in Congress after the Nebraska ban was overturned. According to the New York Times, "Mr. Bush's signing was an ideological and emotional bookend to a veto ceremony in April 1996. On that occasion, Mr. Clinton brought to the Roosevelt Room in the White House five women who had undergone the type of abortion in dispute and who spoke tearfully of the agonizing decisions they had faced in dealing with disorders that had threatened them and their fetuses."
Other lawsuits have been filed in New York and San Francisco, and judges there may block enforcement of the bill. "At issue in all three suits is whether the ban includes an exception under which physicians could perform the procedure to protect ...1
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