WASHINGTON, DC, Mar. 21, 01 (CWNews.com) - A bipartisan
group of Senators introduced a resolution on Tuesday to
overturn President George W. Bush's decision banning
federal aid to international population control groups that
provide or advocate abortion.
Bush implemented the new regulations on his first day in
office, reinstating the Mexico City policy that was revoked
by his predecessor Bill Clinton. The administration's rule
"is an ill-conceived, anti-woman, and anti-American
policy," said Sen. Harry Reid, D-Nevada. "He turned the
clock back on women around the world by almost two
decades." Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-California, said the rule
"is leading to an increase in the number of deaths related
to unsafe abortions by denying women access to information,
access to adequate care as well as counseling."
The resolution uses the 1996 Congressional Review Act that
allows Congress to pass legislation rejecting regulations
issued by federal departments and agencies. It was most
recently used after Clinton left office to overturn rules
imposed by him regarding workplace injuries.
The resolution requires 30 senators to support it before it
can be brought to the floor for debate and a vote, which
Boxer and Reid say they have. However, the
Republican-controlled House is unlikely to support the
resolution and Bush would likely veto the resolution if it
reached his desk.
Despite the problem, Sen. Arlen Specter, R-Pennsylvania,
said: "I believe there is a lot of support in Congress for
family planning. I think the regulation will be overturned."
Meanwhile it was learned Wednesday that
administration had passed regulations, during the last days
in office, that would have redefined the terms "fetus" and
"child" to allow the legal use of newborns in scientific
research, according to Conservative News Service
The Clinton administration had approved the regulation on
January 17, but it was suspended by the Bush
administration, along with a plethora of other last-minutes
rules changes. The regulation had stated that a newborn is
still considered a "fetus" until it determined the baby
will live by "independently maintaining a heartbeat and
respiration," CNSNews.com said. After this determination,
the baby would be considered a "child" under the law.
The 60-day moratorium on Clinton's new regulations expired
on March 19, but a coalition of pro-life congressmen
convinced Health and Human Services Secretary Tommy
Thompson to extend the moratorium on the fetus rule another
"If this rule is allowed to proceed, the position of the
federal Department of Health and Human Services with regard
to 'human research subjects' will be that babies born alive
are not necessarily children," the congressmen wrote. "This
cannot and should not be the position of an agency tasked
with defending children and protecting life."
Some pro-life groups criticized the extension of the
moratorium, saying the regulation should be undone, and not
just delayed. "It shouldn't take 60 days to see how bad this
is, it only took me forty-five minutes," said American Life
League spokesman Patrick Delaney.