Wes Hickaman (202 224-5972) or Kevin Bishop (864 250-1417)
– U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-Seneca) today voted in support of a ban on partial birth abortion. The measure passed Congress by a wide margin and will now be sent to President Bush who has said he will sign the measure into law.
“I’m very pleased we are going to finally ban the horrible procedure known as partial birth abortion,” said Graham, a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee. “America may be divided on abortion policy in the early stages of pregnancy, but banning abortion in the last months of pregnancy is overwhelmingly supported.”
The legislation prohibits any person from performing a partial birth abortion. The procedure is defined as an abortion where the person partially delivers a living fetus and kills the fetus before completing delivery. It does provide an exception in case the life of the mother is endangered by a physical disorder, illness, or injury.
Any person performing the procedure would be subject to fines and up to two years in prison. Husbands, or parents of women under 18 years of age, would be able to sue for civil damages.
“This is a step in the right direction toward making our society more civilized,” said Graham. “Partial birth abortion is a ghastly procedure. Its abolishment is a long overdue cultural change.”
Previous versions of the legislation banning partial-birth abortions were sent to former President Clinton in 1996 and 1997. He vetoed those measures.