US Congress Begins Crafting New Ban on Partial-Birth Abortions
WASHINGTON, DC, Jan. 26, 01 (CWNews.com) - Now that there
is a president in office who will sign a law banning
partial-birth abortions, congressional leaders have said
they are beginning to craft new legislation to put on the
Sen. Rick Santorum, R-Pennsylvania, said composing the
legislation will be a challenge because of a US Supreme
Court decision last year that overturned several state laws
banning the procedure. Former President Bill Clinton twice,
in 1996 and 1997, vetoed bills passed by Congress that
would have banned the procedure. However, President George
W. Bush said several times during his election campaign
that he would have signed those bills.
Santorum said moving a partial-birth abortion ban bill this
year would occur only after discussions with GOP leadership,
the administration, and others on language to overcome
"court-created constitutional obstacles." He said the
Supreme Court's Stenberg v. Carhart decision last year
overreached any previous court decision on abortion. "It
was an incredible reach," Santorum said. "It went far
beyond any understanding of Roe v. Wade," the 1973 ruling
that legalized abortion.
Changes in the makeup of the US House of Representatives
have also changed the landscape of the pro-life movement.
Former Rep. Charles Canady, R-Florida-- he was the chairman
of the House Constitution subcommittee and chief sponsor of
the partial-birth abortion ban-- has now retired and Rep.
Henry Hyde, R-Illinois, has left his chairmanship of the
House Judiciary Committee. He has been replaced at that
post by Rep. James Sensenbrenner, R-Wisconsin, who is also
January 28, 2001
volume 12, no. 28
Pro Life News