Clinton Explains Veto of D&X Abortions

Calling the House bill that would ban late-term abortions “consistent with neither the Constitution nor sound public policy,” President Clinton explained why he vetoed the bill for the second time.

“As I have stated on many occasions, I support the decision in Roe v. Wade protecting a woman’s right to choose. H.R. 1122 does not contain an exception to the measure’s ban that will adequately protect the lives and health of the small group of women in tragic circumstances who need an abortion performed at a late stage of pregnancy to avert death or serious injury.”

He said while the procedure “appears inhumane,” he said “to eliminate it without taking into consideration the rare and tragic circumstances in which its use may be necessary would be even more inhumane.”

Illustrating his consistent stance, Clinton said that as Governor of Arkansas, he signed a bill banning third-trimester abortions except in cases where it was necessary “to avoid serious health consequences.” Rep. Nita Lowey, D-N.Y. said “The Republicans could have sent the president a signable bill. They refused to compromise because they want a political issue they can use in the next election year.”


AP, White House press release - October 13, 1997

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