What: All Issues : Family Planning : Abortion : S 3. Ban on "Dilation and Extraction" Abortions/Vote to Allow "Dilation and Extraction" Abortions In Cases Where the Mother's Health Is Threatened By Pregnancy.
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S 3. Ban on "Dilation and Extraction" Abortions/Vote to Allow "Dilation and Extraction" Abortions In Cases Where the Mother's Health Is Threatened By Pregnancy.
senate Roll Call 46     Mar 12, 2003
Y = Conservative
N = Progressive
Winning Side:
Conservative

One of the top items on the Republican agenda for 2003 was passage of a ban on what they called "partial birth" abortions. The rare procedureknown as "intact dilation and extraction" among physicians-was used to protect the health of the mother when the pregnancy had passed a certain point. Pro-choice members-including Progressives-saw the ban as a means to chip away at abortion rights. Furthermore, they noted that without an exception for the health of the mother, the bill would be struck down by the Supreme Court. Republicans argued that including such an exception would open a loophole that would make enforcement of the ban entirely up to physicians. Progressives-represented by Durbin (D-IL)-offered an amendment that would add such a health-based exception to the bill. Durbin's amendment lifted the ban in cases when two doctors agreed that carrying the fetus presented a "risk of grievous injury" to the woman. Santorum (R-PA) moved to table (kill) this amendment, so a vote against this motion was a vote for the amendment and for the Progressive position. In a sign of the strong support for the dilation and extraction ban, the motion to table passed with a large majority, 60-38.

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