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Susan Cirba Life Issues - Government/Politics

Supreme Court Cases

Pa. Senator Rick Santorum Claims Victory on Passage of the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act of 2003

March 13, 2003- U.S. Senator Rick Santorum (R-Pa.), chairman of the Senate Republican Conference proclaimed a victory for human life as the U.S. Senate passed the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act of 2003 in a 64-33 vote. “Today, we have reached a significant milestone as we continue to build a more compassionate society and a culture that values every human life,” said Senator Santorum. “I am certain that my colleagues in the House of Representatives will pass this Act and the President will sign it into law. Furthermore, I am confident the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act of 2003 includes factual findings of Congress that clearly show that a partial-birth abortion is never medically necessary to preserve a woman’s health, and should be banned.”

“Partial-birth abortion is never medically necessary to protect a mother’s health or fertility,” said former U.S. Surgeon General C. Everett Koop in 1997. “On the contrary, this procedure can cause a serious threat to both”.

Legislation to ban partial-birth abortion was approved by the 104th, 105th, and 106th Congress. In the 104th and 105th Congress, President Clinton vetoed the bill and the Senate was unable to override the veto while the House did vote to override. In the 106th, Congress, the House and Senate again passed the bill and no further action took place. In the 107th Congress, the House again passed the bill banning partial-birth abortion, unfortunately the Senate was unable to consider the Bill during the 107th Congress due to objections raised.

“The National Right to Life Committee commends the tireless efforts of Senator Rick Santorum, over the past seven years, to put an end to the brutal practice of partial-birth abortion.” said Douglas Johnson, Legislative director of National Right to Life Committee.

“Senator Santorum had done a tremendous job guiding this critical legislation through the Senate,” said Congressman Steve Chabot (R-Ohio). “We are determined to move ahead quickly in the House, and I fully expect that our efforts will again receive strong bipartisan support.” Forty-nine Republicans and sixteen Democrats voted for the partial-birth abortion ban. Pennsylvania’s two Republican Senators, Santorum and Specter, voted to ban partial-birth abortion. Democrat Tom Daschle also voted for the ban.

Twenty-nine Senate Democrats voted for the gruesome practice of partial-birth abortion including Senators Hillary Clinton, Joe Lieberman, Tom Harkin and Steve Lautenberg. Three Senate Republicans and one Independent cast pro-abortion votes. Senators Biden, Edwards and Kerry did not vote.

"…we are building a more welcoming society- a culture that values every life. And in this work we must not overlook the weakest among us. I ask you to protect infants at the very hour of their birth and end this practice of partial-birth abortion.”
President George W. Bush in his 2003 State of the Union Address

"National Sanctity of Human Life Day."
This Nation was founded upon the belief that every human being is endowed by our Creator with certain "unalienable rights." Chief among them is the right to life itself. The Signers of the Declaration of Independence pledged their own lives, fortunes, and honor to guarantee inalienable rights for all of the new country's citizens. These visionaries recognized that an essential human dignity attached to all persons by virtue of their very existence and not just to the strong, the independent, or the healthy. That value should apply to every American, including the elderly and the unprotected, the weak and the infirm, and even to the unwanted.

Thomas Jefferson wrote that, "[t]he care of human life and happiness and not their destruction is the first and only legitimate object of good government." President Jefferson was right. Life is an inalienable right, understood as given to each of us by our Creator.

President Jefferson's timeless principle obligates us to pursue a civil society that will democratically embrace its essential moral duties, including defending the elderly, strengthening the weak, protecting the defenseless, feeding the hungry, and caring for children — born and unborn. Mindful of these and other obligations, we should join together in pursuit of a more compassionate society, rejecting the notion that some lives are less worthy of protection than others, whether because of age or illness, social circumstance or economic condition. Consistent with the core principles about which Thomas Jefferson wrote, and to which the Founders subscribed, we should peacefully commit ourselves to seeking a society that values life — from its very beginnings to its natural end. Unborn children should be welcomed in life and protected in law.

On September 11, we saw clearly that evil exists in this world, and that it does not value life. The terrible events of that fateful day have given us, as a Nation, a greater understanding about the value and wonder of life. Every innocent life taken that day was the most important person on earth to somebody; and every death extinguished a world. Now we are engaged in a fight against evil and tyranny to preserve and protect life. In so doing, we are standing again for those core principles upon which our Nation was founded.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, GEORGE W. BUSH, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim Sunday, January 20, 2002, as National Sanctity of Human Life Day. I call upon all Americans to reflect upon the sanctity of human life. Let us recognize the day with appropriate ceremonies in our homes and places of worship, rededicate ourselves to compassionate service on behalf of the weak and defenseless, and reaffirm our commitment to respect the life and dignity of every human being.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this eighteenth day of January, in the year of our Lord two thousand two, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and twenty-sixth.

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