The House Judiciary Committee passed a bill to outlaw so-called “partial birth abortions” yesterday, according to the Washington Times. The House is expected to vote on the abortion procedure ban next week, according to the Times. Although President Bush has indicated he would sign an abortion procedure ban, the bill is not expected to pass in the Democrat-controlled Senate.
The phrase “partial-birth” abortion is an inaccurate and inflammatory term invented by the right wing. “Partial birth” abortion does not refer to any particular medical procedure and the term is not recognized in the medical community, according to the College of Obstetrics and Gynecology. Abortion procedure bans such as these aim to outlaw or significantly chip away at a woman’s right to choose a safe and legal medical procedure.
The bill, introduced by Rep. Steve Chabot (R-Ohio), does not include an exception for the health of the mother, despite the fact that the Supreme Court overturned a similar Nebraska ban in Steinburg v. Carhart, citing the lack of a health exception. “There has got to be a health exception,” said the committee’s ranking Democrat, Rep. John Conyers Jr. (Mich). “Even if the bill passed the House and the Senate, the Supreme Court would again hold it unconstitutional.”