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After months of stonewalling by Democrats, the PBA ban is on its way to conference and one step closer to becoming law.

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Roll Call: Senate Moves Partial-Birth Abortion Ban to Conference

After months of stonewalling by Democrats, the PBA ban is on its way to conference and one step closer to becoming law.

On September 17, by a vote of 93-0, the Senate voted to advance a ban on partial-birth abortion (S. 3) to a House-Senate conference committee.

Pro-abortion senators had blocked the advancement of the bill (S. 3) unless the Senate voted for a symbolic resolution supporting the Supreme Court’s 1973 Roe v. Wade decision. That decision forced all states to legalize abortion on demand immediately and effectively removed the most contentious issue in American politics from the realm of democratic self-governance and gave it to the courts.

The Senate had passed the partial-birth abortion ban on March 13 by a vote of 64 to 33. The House passed a similar ban in June by a vote of 282 to 139, but the Senate version was tainted by an amendment upholding the Roe v. Wade decision. That amendment, sponsored by liberal Sen. Tom Harkin (D.-Iowa) in the Senate, is expected to be removed in conference committee. The House-Senate conference on this bill, which will reconcile the House and Senate versions of the ban, will include Senators Orrin Hatch (R.-Utah), Mike DeWine (R.-Ohio), Rick Santorum (R.-Pa.), Barbara Boxer (D.-Calif.) and Dianne Feinstein (D.-Calif.).

The partial-birth aboriton ban makes it a federal crime for abortionists to perform late-term abortions in which they partially extract a fetus, then crack its skull at the base of the cranium and remove its brains with a suction device.

The vote to advance this bill to the House-Senate conference committee came without floor debate, but it opens the door to the first-ever passage of a federal law prohibiting an abortion procedure of any kind. Unlike President Clinton, who vetoed the bill, President Bush has promised to sign it .

Pro-life senators were willing to vote in favor of the symbolic resolution, even though they disagree with Roe v. Wade, in order to move the bill to conference.

A “yes” vote was a vote in favor of advancing the partial-birth abortion ban (S. 3) to conference, and to agree with the Roe v. Wade decision. A “no” vote was a vote against the motion, and, in effect, against sending the bill to conference.

FOR THE MOTION: 93 AGAINST THE MOTION: 0
REPUBLICANS FOR (49):
Alexander
Allard
Allen
Bennett
Bond
Brownback
Bunning
Burns
Campbell
Chafee
Chambliss
Cochran
Coleman
Collins
Cornyn
Craig
Crapo
DeWine
Dole
Domenici
Ensign
Enzi
Fitzgerald
Frist
Graham (S.C.)
Grassley
Gregg
Hagel
Hutchison
Inhofe
Kyl
Lott
Lugar
McCain
McConnell
Murkowski
Nickles
Roberts
Santorum
Sessions
Shelby
Snowe
Specter
Stevens
Sununu
Talent
Thomas
Voinovich
Warner

DEMOCRATS FOR (43):
Akaka
Baucus
Bayh
Biden
Bingaman
Boxer
Breaux
Byrd
Cantwell
Carper
Clinton
Conrad
Corzine
Daschle
Dayton
Dodd
Dorgan
Durbin
Feingold
Feinstein
Harkin
Hollings
Inouye
Johnson
Kennedy
Kohl
Landrieu
Lautenberg
Leahy
Levin
Lincoln
Mikulski
Murray
Nelson (Fla.)
Nelson (Neb.)
Pryor
Reed (R.I.)
Reid (Nev.)
Rockefeller
Sarbanes
Schumer
Stabenow
Wyden

INDEPENDENT FOR: (1):
Jeffords

NOT VOTING: 7

REPUBLICANS (2): DEMOCRATS (5):
Hatch
Smith
Edwards
Graham
Kerry
Lieberman
Miller
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