Urged by pro-abortion advocates, Clinton may veto ban on grisly abortion procedure

Pro-lifers on both sides of the border are watching with interest the latest developments in the partial-birth abortion debate in the United States.

Late last year, both U.S. Congressional Houses approved the Partial Birth Abortion Ban Act, a bill outlawing the gruesome abortion procedure.

With a partial-birth abortion, the unborn child is manipulated in its mother’s womb so that it can be delivered face down, feet first.

Once the child’s legs, torso, arms, and shoulders are exposed, the base of the skull is punctured and the brain cells are removed.

The congressional ban defines partial birth abortion as “…an abortion in which the person performing the abortion partially vaginally delivers a living fetus before killing the fetus and completing the delivery.”

Also referred to as the D&X method, the procedure encourages abortions in the third trimester, to allow fetal organs more time to develop. Brain cells and other organs from aborted children are sometimes used to treat Parkinson’s Disease.

A number of U.S. congressional figures, including representative Chris Smith (R-N.J.) have suggested that allowing D&X abortions to continue would mean that unborn children would enjoy less protection under that law than convicted murderers or animals.

U.S. President Bill Clinton, feeling pressure from several prominent pro-abortion groups, is considering a veto of the Congressional ban. He is expected to receive the bill for action is late January. The president will have 10 working days to veto the bill, sign it, or allow it to become law without his signature.

Despite the brutality of the D&X method, some prominent pro-lifers see a silver lining to the issue. Joe Scheidler, president of the Chicago-based Pro-Life Action League, said congressional debate of the procedure has helped emphasize the stark reality of abortion in the public mind.

“The D&X debate has been effective in alerting people to the grim realities of abortion,” Scheidler told The Interim. “It will help keep the issue before the public as we enter an election yar in the U.S. it will be a major test of President Clinton to see how he deals with this one.”

In addition to sensitizing the public to the issue, the D&X debate has led to a concerted effort to curtail some abortions in the U.S.-the first such action since the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision.