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Abortion Procedure Ban Passes in House

The House of Representatives voted yesterday 274 to 151 to pass an abortion procedure ban, which would outlaw late term abortions except when necessary to save the woman’s life. The bill does not include a health exception. A similar Nebraska ban was overturned in 2000 by the Supreme Court, which stated that the lack of a health exception created an “undue burden” for women seeking abortions, according to the New York Times.

The Feminist Majority and other abortion rights advocates believe that the bill, which would ban any procedure during which a living fetus was delivered for the “purpose of performing an overt act that the person knows will kill” the fetus, is so broadly written that it could ban other abortion procedures. Late term abortions account for less than one percent of abortion procedure performed in the United States, according to the Allan Guttmacher Institute.

The bill will now move to the Senate for consideration. Senator Rick Santorum (R-Pa.) has stated that he will press for a vote in the Democrat-controlled Senate. President Bush has indicated that he will sign any abortion procedure ban that passes through Congress.

Sources:

Washington Post, 7/25/02; New York Times, 7/25/02; Fox News, 7/25/02