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 June 14, 2003
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House to Vote on Partial Birth Abortion Ban
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The U.S. House of Representatives to expected to approve today a ban on so-called partial birth abortions.

After minor differences with a bill already approved by the Senate are ironed out, the proposed legislation would go to President Bush, who has said he will sign it into law, the Associated Press reports.

Partial birth is described as a case in which the entire fetal head is outside the body of the mother or, in the event of a breech delivery, if "any part of the fetal trunk past the navel is outside the body of the mother," the AP says.

The bill would make it a crime for a doctor to perform the procedure. It includes an exemption for cases in which the life of the mother is jeopardized, the AP says.

Abortion opponents say the procedure is performed routinely, while pro-choice advocates say it's rarely used.

Congressional opponents of partial birth abortion have been fighting for eight years to have the procedure banned.

If the ban becomes law, abortion-rights groups say they'll immediately challenge it in court.


-- Robert Preidt

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