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Anti-Choice Bill Passes in House

Thursday conservative lawmakers in the House passed HR2436, a bill that would erode abortion rights by elevating a fetus to the status of “personhood” for the first time. The bill would make it a federal offense to harm a fetus during the commission of a federal crime. While supporters of the bill, such as Rep. Lindsay Graham (R-South Carolina) claim its intent is to protect a fetus from harm, opponents of the bill call it a “back door attempt” to overturn Roe v. Wade. “This bill would create the first federal law that would recognize a fertilized egg as a victim of a crime,” said Rep. Louise Slaughter (D-New York). Kate Michelman, President of the National Abortion and Reproductive Rights Action League, also recognized the danger the bill poses to reproductive choice, “It [the bill] is sponsored and promoted by those who want to take away a woman’s right to choose.” President Clinton has vowed to veto the bill, should it reach his desk. The measure passed by a vote of 254-172, short the number of votes needed to override a presidential veto.

Sources:

Washington Post - September 1, 1999

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