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Thursday | March 13, 2003

Senate passes abortion bill

As expected, the Senate passed the ban of so-called Late-Term Abortions, sans an exception for the health of the mother, by a 64-33 vote.

Now if this quote from Bush doesn't scare everyone who cares about Choice, then nothing ever will:

"Partial-birth abortion is an abhorrent procedure that offends human dignity, and I commend the Senate for passing legislation to ban it," Bush said in a prepared statement. "Today's action is an important step toward building a culture of life in America."
Note Bush's choice of words: "an important step". All those who decry "slippery slope" arguments, that the ban on this rare procedure doesn't mean Bush and GOP will ban all abortions, need only read those words once again:
Today's action is an important step toward building a culture of life in America.
Again, this isn't my issue. I don't even like abortions (who does?). But I do believe that certain decisions are outside the realm of governmental reach.

To illustrate, I'm vegan, yet I would never advocate laws that banned eating meat. My dietary decisions are between me and my conscience, and I would never dream to use the law to impose such decisions on others. Same with abortion.

The pro-choice movement has become complacent, but if nothing else, this should be a wakeup call that those rights they take for granted hang on a thread.

How much so? Take this:

Abortion rights advocates scored one victory on Wednesday when the Senate voted 52-46 in support of the landmark 1973 Roe v. Wade ruling that gave women the right to end their pregnancies.

It was the first referendum on the 30-year-old ruling since the new Congress convened in January, and nine of the 11 newcomers to the Senate signaled opposition to the 1973 ruling.

See the vote of that non-binding resolution here. The 11 newcomers to the Senate, their party, and their votes on the resolution are:
Alexander (R-TN), Nay
Chambliss (R-GA), Nay
Coleman (R-MN), Nay (moderate indeed!)
Cornyn (R-TX), Nay
Dole (R-NC), Nay
Graham (R-SC), Nay
Lautenberg (D-NJ), Yea
Murkowski (R-AK), Yea
Pryor (D-AR), Nay (!)
Sununu (R-NH), Nay
Talent (R-MO), Nay
So the Republican "tidal wave" in 2002 brought us a Senate that is increasingly hostile to Roe v. Wade. And remember, it's the Senate that votes to confirm judges.

Some votes of note: For all you Landrieu bashers -- she voted "yea". For you McCain fans -- he voted "nay". Specter (R) voted "yea", which should embolden his primary challenger. Interestingly, both Alaska senators voted "yea". Perhaps our native Alaskan AWD can give us a sense why.

And just for fun, let's see how the Senate's women voted on the Roe resolution:

Boxer (D-CA), Yea
Cantwell (D-WA), Yea
Clinton (D-NY), Yea
Collins (R-ME), Yea
Dole (R-NC), Nay
Feinstein (D-CA), Yea
Hutchison (R-TX), Yea
Landrieu (D-LA), Yea
Lincoln (D-AR), Yea
Mikulski (D-MD), Yea
Murkowski (R-AK), Yea
Murray (D-WA), Yea
Snowe (R-ME), Yea
Stabenow (D-MI), Yea
Sort of speaks for itself, doesn't it? Even Hutchinson voted "yea". While women only make up 14 percent of the Senate, they provided 25 percent of the "yea" votes.

Posted March 13, 2003 08:40 AM | Comments (100)


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