Congressional Partial-Birth Abortion Conference Committee Appointed

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Sep 25, 2003   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Congressional Partial-Birth Abortion Conference Committee Appointed

by Steven Ertelt Editor
September 25, 2003

Washington, DC ( — Now that the Senate has agreed to move forward and complete work on the partial-birth abortion ban, members of the conference that will work out differences between the House and Senate bills have been appointed.

As expected, a majority of conferees are pro-life.

Senate leaders have appointed pro-life Sens. Orrin Hatch (R-UT), Mike DeWine (R-OH), and Rick Santorum (R-PA) as well as pro-abortion California senators Barbara Boxer and Diane Feinstein.

On the House side, the conferees include: pro-life Reps. Steve Chabot (R-OH), James Sensenbrenner (R-WI), Henry Hyde (R-IL), and pro-abortion Reps. Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) and Zoe Lofgren (D-CA).

Once they meet, they will remove an amendment added in Senate that endorses the Roe v. Wade decision legalizing abortion.

After that, both the House and the Senate must approve the conference committee report. The House should approve it by a bipartisan majority while the Senate, which approved the partial-birth abortion ban by a lopsided 64-33 margin, may be faced with a filibuster depending on what pro-abortion lawmakers decide to do.

After approving the conference report, President Bush is expected to quickly sign the bill.

Then the legal battle begins.

Pro-abrotion organziations have already pledged to take the ban to court as soon after it is signed.

The question is whether the Supreme Court will overturn the law as it did a similar Nebraska ban in 2000. Although the members haven’t changed, the definition of partial-birth abortion in the bill has and pro-life lawmakers included a lengthy findings section showing that partial-birth abortions are performed on healthy babies and never medically necessary for mothers.

Cardinal Anthony Bevilacqua of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops said most Americans and 30 state legislatures favor ending the killing of mostly-born children but have been thwarted by courts who have declared such bans unconstitutional.