Senate Passage of "Partial Birth Abortion" Ban is Important Gain in Anti-Choice Campaign
Interview with Karyn Strickler, executive director of Fifty Plus One, conducted by Between the Lines' Denise Manzari
On March 13, the Senate voted to pass the deceptively named "partial birth" abortion ban. The Republican-controlled Senate passed the bill 64-33 with 16 Democrats voting in favor. Similar bills passed the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate several times before, but were vetoed by then-President Bill Clinton because they did not include an exemption to protect a pregnant woman's health.
The term "partial birth" abortion was first introduced eight years ago by the anti-choice movement and cannot be found in any medical dictionary. The language of the bill is vaguely worded, and critics charge this is intentional, so conservative judges, appointed by President Bush, can then interpret the legislation to broadly ban safe and commonly-used abortion procedures.
Washington Democratic Senator Maria Cantwell stated the abortion ban "unconstitutionally restricts women's rights, no matter where a woman is in her pregnancy."
The bill is expected to pass in the House later this year and be signed into law by President Bush, but opponents of the legislation will almost certainly try to overturn the ban by appealing to the Supreme Court.
Karyn Strickler is the founder and executive director of Fifty Plus One, a group she led in a campaign to defeat the so-called "partial birth" abortion ban in Maryland in 1998. She spoke with Between The Lines' Denise Manzari and says the ban is still not recognized for what it is: part of a carefully crafted, national strategy to ban all abortion.
Read Karyn Strickler's article "Partial Birth Abortion Bans: 'Why Does the Big Lie Continue?'" at www.commondreams.org
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