The House Constitution subcommittee held a hearing yesterday on the “Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act of 2002” (HR 4965) that aims to outlaw or significantly chip away at a woman’s right to choose a safe and legal medical procedure. First introduced by Representative Steven Chabot (R-OH) in June, the bill is another attempt by anti-choice proponents to use ambiguous language to disguise broader implications of the bill. The bill was introduced despite the Supreme Court’s ruling in Stenberg v. Carhart (2000) that deemed a similar ban in Nebraska unconstitutional.
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. According to the College of Obstetrics and Gynecology, the term is not recognized in the medical community.
The Feminist Majority joins other organizations including the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), the National Abortion and Reproductive Rights Action League (NARAL), the American College of Obstetrician and Gynecologists, the American Medical Women’s Association, and the American Nurses Association in opposing HR 4965. “Anti-abortion members of Congress are ignoring the Supreme Court ruling that makes this ban unconstitutional,” said Eleanor Smeal, president of the Feminist Majority Foundation. “Reproductive health care decisions must be made by a woman and her doctor, not by anti-abortion politicians.”