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Partial-birth ban supporters seeking 3 votes in Senate

WASHINGTON (BP)–It appears unlikely enough United States senators will change their minds to override a veto of the Partial-birth Abortion Ban Act, but pro-lifers plan to make a diligent effort in preparation for an expected September vote.
While the House of Representatives voted July 23 for the second time to override President Clinton’s veto of the bill, the Senate has yet to achieve in any of its votes the two-thirds majority necessary. The last time the Senate voted on the measure, in May 1997, a 64-36 roll call for passage fell three votes short of the ban supporters’ goal.
Pro-life senators and organizations are seeking to find the necessary three votes to outlaw an abortion procedure in which the baby is nearly completely delivered before being killed.
“It’s long past time for 36 senators to stop defending the indefensible, brutal practice … . It is appalling that any senator would vote to allow thousands of living babies to be mostly delivered and then stabbed through the head,” said Douglas Johnson, legislative director for the National Right to Life Committee, in a written statement after the House override vote.
Southern Baptist public-policy specialist Will Dodson called on Christians to contact their senators and to pray.
“If those who voted against the ban hear enough from their constituents, it really could make the difference,” said Dodson, director of public policy for the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission. “Also, prayer really could make the difference as well, because in their hearts many of these senators know what is right but simply need to find the courage to do what is right.”
The 36 senators who voted against the bill the last time the Senate considered it are:
Republicans: Susan Collins, Maine; John Chafee, Rhode Island; James Jeffords, Vermont; Olympia Snowe, Maine.
Democrats: Daniel Akaka, Hawaii; Max Baucus, Montana; Jeff Bingaman, New Mexico; Barbara Boxer, California; Richard Bryan, Nevada; Dale Bumpers, Arkansas; Max Cleland, Georgia; Christopher Dodd, Connecticut; Richard Durbin, Illinois; Russell Feingold, Wisconsin; Dianne Feinstein, California; John Glenn, Ohio; Bob Graham, Florida; Tom Harkin, Iowa; Daniel Inouye, Hawaii; Edward Kennedy, Massachusetts; Bob Kerrey, Nebraska; John Kerry, Massachusetts; Herb Kohl, Wisconsin; Frank Lautenberg, New Jersey; Carl Levin, Michigan; Joseph Lieberman, Connecticut; Barbara Mikulski, Maryland; Carol Moseley-Braun, Illinois; Patty Murray, Washington; Jack Reed, Rhode Island; Charles Robb, Virginia; Jay Rockefeller, West Virginia; Paul Sarbanes, Maryland; Robert Torricelli, New Jersey; Paul Wellstone, Minnesota; Ron Wyden, Oregon.
The bill bans an abortion procedure that involves the delivery of an intact baby feet first until only the head is left in the birth canal. The doctor pierces the base of the baby’s skull with surgical scissors, then inserts a catheter into the opening and suctions out the brain. The collapse of the skull enables easier removal of the dead child. This method is used primarily in the fifth or six months of pregnancy.
The legislation allows an exception for the procedure to be used when the life of the mother is endangered.
The House’s successful override vote July 23 was 296-132.