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'Partial-Birth' Abortion Ban Clears Hurdle

September 18, 2003|From Associated Press

WASHINGTON — The Senate advanced a step closer Wednesday to final congressional passage of a bill to ban certain abortions, clearing a procedural hurdle on a 93-0 vote that belied years of struggle surrounding the legislation itself.

The bill would ban what critics call "partial-birth" abortions, and Republican leaders hope to have the legislation on President Bush's desk by the end of next month.

Final passage is not in doubt, because the measure cleared the House and Senate by wide margins earlier this year.

The only difference between the two measures is a Senate-passed endorsement of the Supreme Court's 1973 ruling that declared women have the right to an abortion.

President Bush has repeatedly urged Congress to enact the legislation. For their part, supporters of abortion are ready to file suit in court attacking the measure as unconstitutional and vow the issue will finally be settled by the Supreme Court.

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