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March 14, 2003
Yesterday, the U.S. Senate passed the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act by a vote of 64-33. Once it passes in the House, differences in the bills will be reconciled in a Conference Committee. During the Senate debate, pro-abortion Senators tried to attach weakening amendments all of which failed with one exception, the Harkin Amendment.

The Harkin Amendment reaffirms Roe v. Wade as "appropriate," securing "an important Constitutional right," and says that Roe "should not be overturned." This language must be deleted from the bill before it goes to the President's desk. Pro-life Senators voted for it on final passage because they were convinced it was the only way to win the necessary pro-abortion Democrats and Republicans who otherwise would have voted against the ban. They are counting on the House to pass a bill that does not contain this offensive amendment and the Conference Committee to remove it from the Senate version.

All but five Democrat Senators who were present voted FOR the Harkin Amendment and nine Republican RINOs voted with them. Republicans voting to reaffirm Roe v. Wade are: Campbell (CO), Chafee (RI), Collins (ME), Hutchison (TX), Murkowski (AK), Snowe (ME), Specter (PA), Stevens (AK), and Warner (VA).

The rest of the Republicans voted pro-life AGAINST the Harkin Amendment along with Democrat Senators Breaux (LA), Miller (GA), Nelson (NE), Pryor (AR), and Reid (NV).


THE TEXT OF THE HARKIN AMENDMENT READS AS FOLLOWS: 
SA 260. Mr. HARKIN (for himself, Ms. CANTWELL, Mr. EDWARDS, Mrs. BOXER, and Mr. KERRY) proposed an amendment to the bill S. 3, to prohibit the procedure commonly known as partial-birth abortion; as follows:

At the appropriate place, insert the following:

SEC. __. SENSE OF THE SENATE CONCERNING ROE V. WADE.

(a) FINDINGS.--The Senate finds that--

(1) abortion has been a legal and constitutionally protected medical procedure throughout the United States since the Supreme Court decision in Roe v. Wade (410 U.S. 113 (1973)); and

(2) the 1973 Supreme Court decision in Roe v. Wade established constitutionally based limits on the power of States to restrict the right of a woman to choose to terminate a pregnancy.

(b) SENSE OF THE SENATE.--It is the sense of the Senate that--

(1) the decision of the Supreme Court in Roe v. Wade (410 U.S. 113 (1973)) was appropriate and secures an important constitutional right; and

(2) such decision should not be overturned.

Capitol Switchboard - 202/224-3121


Republican National
Coalition for Life


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