The House is scheduled to vote today on HR 760, unconstitutional legislation that would ban so-called “partial birth” abortions. Like its Senate counterpart (S 3), the House bill perpetuates inaccurate and inflammatory use of the right-wing term “partial-birth,” which neither refers to any particular medical procedure nor receives recognition from the medical community, including the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, the American Medical Women’s Association, the American Nurses Association, and the American Public Health Association.
Legal and medical experts affirm that the ban would outlaw use of the safest and most common pre-viability abortion procedure used after the first trimester of pregnancy – dilation and evacuation (D&E), according to the Center for Reproductive Rights (CRR). 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, abortion rights advocates argue. HR 760, unlike the Senate bill, does not stipulate support for Roe v. Wade. In addition, it unconstitutionally excludes an exception for the woman’s health.
With Republicans in control of both chambers of Congress and a promise from President Bush to sign the bill, it is likely to pass. However, abortion rights advocates such as the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), the CRR, and the National Abortion Federation have vowed to immediately challenge the constitutionality of the bill in court if it is passed. In 2000, the US Supreme Court overturned a similar Nebraska ban in Stenburg v. Carhart, citing the lack of a health exception.