Clinton Firm on Protecting Health of Women in Late-Term Abortion Debate

In the face of renewed opposition to the rare D&X abortion procedure, President Clinton is standing by his decision last spring to veto legislation that would have banned the procedure with no exception to save a woman’s health. At a moving ceremony in which women who’d had the procedure told how it save their lives and future fertility, Clinton vetoed the ban last April because it only allowed the procedure if no other procedure would save the woman’s life, but it made no exception for a woman’s health. A new bill, also lacking a health exemption, was introduced in the House last week. At a press conference on March 8, Clinton said of the new bill, it “might not work to reduce the overall number of abortions at all, but in the end what it could do is every year to take a few hundred women and wreck their lives and wreck the possibility that they could have further children.”

On Sunday, March 10 U.S. Roman Catholic Cardinals urged President Clinton in an open letter to sign the ban, claiming that a health exemption is too broad. Planned Parenthood of New York City Alexander Sanger said that not allowing a woman to have a surgical procedure when her health is threatened would be to deny the woman her constitutional rights.


Reuters - March 10, 1997, The New York Times - March 10, 1997

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