For the most recent information on this bill, see the latest Legislative Update.
On Dec. 7, H.R. 1833 / S.939, or the "D & X abortion ban", passed the Senate by a vote of 54-44. This bill calls for the criminalization of a rare late-term abortion procedure which is needed in dire circumstances, such as when the woman's life or health is at risk, or when there are severe fetal abnormalities incompatible with life.
An amendment was added to provide exception when the life of the woman is in danger, but not if her health is at risk or if the fetus is severely deformed. The "life" amendment is strictly worded that the woman's life must be threatened by a physical disorder, injury or illness, and no other medical procedure would suffice to save her life. An amendment to provide exception for both the life and health of the woman was narrowly defeated 47-51.
The bill has moved into conference to reconcile the differences between the House and Senate versions of the bill. The House version of the bill did not have a "life" exception.
Prior to the vote, on Dec. 6, the White House issued a statement that President Clinton would be advised to veto the bill if it did not provide for the life and health of the woman.
The close margin by which the Senate passed the vote indicates that it will be nearly impossible for the bill's supporters to muster the two-thirds vote of both houses necessary to override a Presidential veto.
The anti-abortion troops have already begun flooding the White House with phone calls and faxes demanding that President Clinton support the ban and not veto this legislation when it reaches his desk.
Once again, anti-abortion forces are shouting the loudest. We cannot let President Clinton waffle on this precedent-setting direct hit to Roe v. Wade. Make no mistake, this is only the beginning, as the bill's supporters will happily tell you, in the fight to take away women's reproductive freedom.
We must get our voices on the lines at the White House urging the President to veto H.R. 1833 / S. 939, the D & X bill. The White House must know that supporters of reproductive rights will not tolerate the risk that this bill poses to women in this country. President Clinton must veto the D & X abortion ban.
Please e-mail President Clinton or
Call: White House comment line (202) 456-1111
Fax: White House fax line (202) 456-2461