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Anti-Choice Bill Passes House

On Sept. 25, the House of Representatives passed the Born-Alive Infants Protection Act, a measure that would treat as a person under the law a fetus that is breathing when it leaves the womb, even if during an abortion procedure. The measure passed 380-15 but is unlikely to come to a vote in the Senate before the end of the session. Pro-choice activists call the bill an attempt to chip away at the rights women gained in the 1972 Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision legalizing abortion. Rosemary Dempsey, Washington DC Director of the Center for Reproductive Law and Policy called the bill “deceptive, extreme and unconstitutional.” She noted that “The bill proposes a definitional change to the entire United States Code, clouded in a deceptive scheme to denounce the principles guaranteed in Roe v. Wade and confirmed by the recent Stenberg v. Carhart Supreme Court decision.”

Abortion rights have been at the forefront of electoral politics this year, with 2-3 Supreme Court seats possibly vacant within the next presidency. Last night, on MTV’s “Choose or Lose” town hall program, Vice President Al Gore addressed the abortion issue when an audience member who described herself as “pro-life” asked Gore his views. “I support a woman’s right to choose,” Gore answered. He also called for more comprehensive sex education, saying that giving women education on the range of options open to them was essential. A recent Kaiser Family Foundation-MTV poll showed that 80 percent of young people favor comprehensive sex education and 51 percent favor abortion rights.

Sources:

Feminist Majority Foundation and Center for Reproductive Law and Policy and MTV.com and Associated Press, US News _ September 26, 2000