HOYER: PARTIAL-BIRTH BILL WILL NOT PREVENT ABORTIONS

Congress and President Failed to Seize Common Ground

For Immediate Release:

November 5, 2003

Contact:Stacey Farnen
202-225-3130

WASHINGTON, DC – House Democratic Whip Steny H. Hoyer (MD), a chief sponsor of the bipartisan “Late Term Abortion Restriction Act,” released the following statement today after President Bush signed the “Partial Birth Abortion Ban Act” into law:

 “Let’s be clear: The Partial Birth Abortion Ban Act that President Bush signed into law today will not prevent one abortion.  Not one.  It simply bans a medical procedure performed in the most tragic of circumstances.

 “Furthermore, this law is patently unconstitutional.  Three years ago, the Supreme Court struck down a virtually identical Nebraska law that failed to include an exception for the preservation of the health of the mother.  However, the authors of this legislation deliberately defied that decision, and excluded an exception for the health of the mother.

 “It’s regrettable that the bipartisan Late Term Abortion Restriction Act is not on the President’s desk today.  That legislation addresses the heart of the matter: the termination of viable fetuses in the late stages of pregnancy.  It focuses on when abortions are performed rather than how they are performed.  It is constitutional.  And it would send an unmistakable signal that all late term abortions should be banned, regardless of medical procedure used, with exceptions for the life and health of the mother.

 “It’s unfortunate that we failed to seize what common ground exists on this most contentious issue.  The Late Term Abortion Restriction Act would have given us that opportunity.”

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