President Bush Looks Forward to Signing Partial-Birth Abortion Ban

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Oct 23, 2003   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

President Bush Looks Forward to Signing Partial-Birth Abortion Ban

by Steven Ertelt Editor
October 23, 2003

Washington, DC ( — President Bush says he looks forward to signing the partial-birth abortion ban into law, though he has been on a week-long international trip and unable to do so yet.

In a statement released by the White House shortly after the Senate’s vote, Bush said, "I applaud the Senate for joining the House in passing the ban on partial-birth abortion. This is very important legislation that will end an abhorrent practice and continue to build a culture of life in America. I look forward to signing it into law."

Partial-birth abortion will quickly become an issue in the presidential race. NARAL has indicated it will run television ads in the key primary states of Iowa and New Hampshire blasting Bush and backing the Democratic candidates — each of whom back abortion and oppose the partial-birth abortion ban.

Once President Bush signs the bill, the battle will shift from Congress to the courts.

Both national and state abortion advocates, including lobbyist groups, abortion facilities and abortion practitioners have said they will file a lawsuit to challenge the constitutionality of the legislation.

Talcott Camp, an attorney for the American Civil Liberties Union, said the case could take two to three years to work its way through the courts.

It is the third time Congress has voted to ban partial-birth abortion. Former president Bill Clinton vetoed the measure twice and Congress failed to find the two-thirds majority to override the vetoes.

The bill represents the first direct national restriction on any method of abortion since the Supreme Court legalized abortion on demand in 1973.

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