WASHINGTON (March 26, 2003) -- Today the House Judiciary Committee voted 19 to 11 to pass H.R. 760, the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act, without amendment. The bill is now in position for a vote on the House floor, and is expected to pass by a wide margin. The ban on partial-birth abortion was passed by the Senate earlier this month, 64-33, and President Bush has vowed to sign it into law.
"With the Judiciary Committee's passage of a ban on partial-birth abortions, the ban is one step closer to becoming 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. "We applaud the Committee's work on this crucial bill, and look forward to its passage by the full House soon."
The Constitution Subcommittee yesterday held a hearing at which legal and medical experts presented testimony supporting the constitutionality of the bill and explaining the health risks to women from these abortions. In addition, Dr. Mark Neerhof, an OB/GYN expert, testified that this procedure is "excruciatingly painful" for the unborn child.
"According to Dr. Neerhof, partial-birth abortion exposes the unborn human to levels of pain that would fail the federal standards for humane treatment of animals in medical research," Cleaver said. "It is unconscionable that women and children have been made to suffer so needlessly from this procedure."