Senate Battle Over Partial-Birth Abortion Continues

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Sep 3, 2003   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Senate Battle Over Partial-Birth Abortion Continues

by Steven Ertelt Editor
September 3, 2003

Washington, DC ( — The U.S. Senate will soon continue the battle over the ban on partial-birth abortions. Despite having passed the bill, debate continues over whether to keep a ceremonial motion expressing the Senate’s endorsement of the Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision.

Both houses of Congress have passed the ban. However, the Senate version contains a non-binding amendment sponsored by pro-abortion Sen. Tom Harkin (D-IA) backing Roe v. Wade.

Pro-life groups expected a conference committee, which will contain a majority of Republicans, to strike the Harkin language and send the ban to President Bush to sign.

However, Senate Democrats refused to appoint their conferees and the process stalled.

On September 15, the Senate is expected to consider a motion to go to conference.

Though Senate Democrats wanted a week to debate what is usually a noncontroversial motion, both sides agreed to 8 hours of debate. Led by pro-abortion Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-CA), pro-abortion lawmakers will spend four hours bashing the bill.

The motion will instruct members of the conference to keep the Harkin amendment in the bill. However, a majority of conferees will be pro-life and observers tell they will most likely remove it instead.

President Bush has confirmed he will sign the bill as soon as Congress sends it to him.

ACTION: Please contact your two senators and tell them you want the Harkin amendment to be removed and to send the partial-birth abortion ban to the president immediately. You can reach Congress by calling 202-224-3121 or find specific contact information at