WASHINGTON, October 1, 2003 ( – A House-Senate conference committee yesterday approved the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act (S. 3/H.R. 760) in the form supported by the sponsors of the bill and by the National Right to Life Committee (NRLC).  On party-line votes, the conference committee dropped from the bill the Harkin Amendment, an endorsement of Roe v. Wade that had been added to the bill by a close vote in the Senate in March.  Wednesday evening, from about 8:30 to about 9:30 pm ET, pro-life lawmakers will give a series of speeches on the House floor in favour of the bill.  This “special order” will be led by pro-life Reps. Mike Pence (R-In.) and Mark Kennedy (R-Mn.).  On Thursday, October 2, probably beginning at 10 am ET, the House will hold two hours of debate on the final version of the bill (which is called the “conference report”), and then vote to pass it.  (No amendments may be considered at this stage.) After that, the Senate Republican leadership will attempt to hold a final vote in the Senate. However, the Senate will begin a 10-day recess on October 3, and Senate rules offer much latitude for obstructionism, so it is likely that opponents of the bill will be able to delay final Senate action until after October 13.  Following Tuesday’s conference committee victory, NRLC Legislative Director Douglas Johnson commented, “This bill puts a spotlight on the brutal violence that premature infants suffer every day because of Roe v. Wade, as interpreted by five justices on the U.S. Supreme Court.”  In the case of Stenberg v. Carhart in 2000, by a 5-4 vote, the Supreme Court struck down a Nebraska law banning partial-birth abortions, holding that under Roe v. Wade an abortionist must be permitted to use the method when he sees fit.  The current justices support the underlying Roe v. Wade ruling by 6 to 3.  For a more detailed report on recent see:


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