WASHINGTON (June 5, 2003) -— Cardinal Bevilacqua, Chairman of the Committee for Pro-Life Activities of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, made the following statement upon passage yesterday of the ban on partial-birth abortion by the House of Representatives:
"The Catholic Bishops of the United States are grateful and encouraged by the House of Representatives' overwhelming vote of 282-139 to ban partial-birth abortion.
"In voting to ban this procedure, one of the most heinous acts ever perpetrated upon an unborn child, Congress is in harmony with the vast majority of Americans who find this violent act intolerable and want it stopped.
"We hope and expect that President George W. Bush will sign the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act into law as soon as possible.
"Abortion advocates have said they intend to challenge the constitutionality of the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act in court. Nothing in our constitution demands that unborn children must be subjected to a procedure so violent and so painful. To allow the brutal killing of a child mere inches from being born is barbaric. To cloak the act in the Constitution is a national disgrace."