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By Dave Andrusko
Over 1,200 pro-lifers from every part of the United States and beyond came together in Pitts-burgh, Pennsylvania, June 27-29 to enjoy National Right to Life's 30th annual convention. NRLC's annual three-day educational feast provided a superb setting for some of the Movement's very finest speakers who spoke to and interacted with an audience whose enthusiasm was palpable from the opening general session.
"Sometimes everything just gets off on the right foot and it's as if that momentum carries over," said Jacki Ragan, convention coordinator. "The atmosphere was electric that first morning and the attendees clearly were primed for a top-flight educational experience."
Even more than usual, these pro-life champions had a dazzling assortment to choose from. It would be hard to go wrong with the caliber of speakers who graciously agreed to be a part of the pro-life educational event of the year.
WASHINGTON (July 7, 2002) - - Key federal lawmakers, with strong support from the National Right to Life Committee (NRLC), have launched a new effort to ban partial-birth abortions nationwide.
President Bill Clinton twice blocked enactment of such a national ban with his veto - - but President George W. Bush supports a ban on partial-birth abortion.
On June 19, a new version of the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act (H.R. 4965) was introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives by Congressman Steve Chabot (pronounced "SHA-bit"), Republican of Ohio.
Mr. Chabot, joined by lawmakers from both
parties at a press conference, explained that his bill is targeted at
the abortion method "in which a physician delivers an unborn
child's body until only the head remains inside the womb, punctures the
back of the child's skull with a sharp instrument, and sucks the child's
brains out before completing delivery of the dead infant."
[What follows is the text of a June 19 letter sent by NRLC to members of the U.S. House of Representatives in support of the new Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act (H.R. 4965). For further information on the bill, see the story that begins on page 1, or visit the Legislative Action Center at the NRLC website at www.nrlc.org.]
From the President
Wanda Franz, Ph.D.
On June 19, Congressman Steve Chabot (R-Oh.) introduced the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act of 2002 (H.R. 4965). There was a bipartisan group of initial cosponsors: James Barcia (D-Mi.), Henry Hyde (R-Il.), Ralph Hall (D-Tx.), Chris Smith (R-NJ), James Oberstar (D-Mn.), Sue Myrick (R-NC), Bart Stupak (D-Mi.), Melissa Hart (R-Pa.), Alan Mollohan (D-WV), Rob Portman (R-Oh.), and Nick Rahall (D-WV), and by NRL News deadline there were nearly 100 cosponsors. (The full text of the bill can be found on the web at http://thomas.loc.gov.)
Congress has twice approved national bans on partial-birth abortion--but neither became law, because they were successfully vetoed by Bill Clinton in 1996 and 1997. (This fact should be contemplated by those who refused to vote in the 1992 and 1996 elections or voted for third-party candidates because they deemed the Republican candidates "not pro-life enough.")
Twenty-seven states have also passed bans on partial-birth abortions. Many of these state laws were challenged in federal court. Of these challenges, the Nebraska case went to the U.S. Supreme Court, which struck down the law in the Stenberg v. Carhart decision in June 2000. Nebraska's bill to ban partial-birth abortions was similar to the bills previously passed by Congress.