WASHINGTON (March 13, 2003) -- Today the Senate voted 64-33 to pass S. 3, the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act, the first time in seven years that the Senate has passed the ban without the threat of presidential veto. The ban will next move to the House of Representatives where it is assured of passage. President Clinton twice vetoed the ban, but President Bush has vowed to sign it into law.
"The Senate has passed a ban on partial-birth abortions, this time without the cloud of a veto threat. This historic vote sets the ban on track to be the first federal law limiting abortion since Roe v. Wade," said Cathleen Cleaver, Esq., spokesperson for the U.S. bishops' Secretariat for Pro-Life Activities. "This is a great success for those who have worked so hard for passage of this bill, but above all it is a victory for women and children, who bear the pain and anguish wrought by this inhumane procedure."
Banning partial-birth abortion has been a major priority for the U.S. bishops for several years. Two highly successful postcard campaigns in favor of the ban have caused congressional offices to be flooded with millions of messages from Catholics across the country showing their support.
"Partial-birth abortion promises nothing but pain, for everyone involved. It is not disputed that babies at this stage of development are extremely sensitive to pain. One neurological expert testified that a partial birth abortion was a 'dreadfully painful' experience for the unborn child," Cleaver said.
"Women who undergo partial-birth abortions experience the physical pain of days of forced dilation and the psychological pain of being present at the destruction and disposal of their babies. No compassionate person wants to see a woman suffer the personal tragedy of abortion, and those who experience an abortion later in pregnancy are especially vulnerable to post-abortion trauma," noted Cleaver.
"Today's vote is the beginning of the end for this cruel and dangerous procedure. We expect the House to pass the ban quickly, and President Bush has vowed to sign it," said Cleaver.