H.R. 760, the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act, passed the House Judiciary Committee yesterday by a vote of 19-11, and all amendments were defeated. 6 amendments were offered:
The appropriate answer to each of these amendments is the answer that Congressman Steve Chabot (R-OH) gave when he read the testimony of Brenda Pratt Shafer, a registered nurse who observed Dr. Haskell use the procedure to abort three babies in 1993:
"Dr. Haskell brought the ultrasound in and hooked it up so that he could see the baby. On their ultrasound screen I could see the heart beat. As Dr. Haskell watched the baby on the ultrasound screen, the baby's heartbeat was clearly visible on the ultrasound screen.
"Dr. Haskell went in with forceps and grabbed the baby's legs and pulled them down into the birth canal. Then he delivered the baby's body and arms. Everything but the head. The doctor kept the head right inside the uterus. The baby's little fingers were clasping and unclasping and his little feet were kicking. Then the doctor stuck the scissors in the back of his head and the baby's arms jerked out like a startle reaction, like a flinch, like a baby does when he thinks he is going to fall. The doctor opened up the scissors, stuck a high-powered suction tube into the opening, sucked the baby's brains out. Now the baby went completely limp. He cut the umbilical cord and delivered the placenta. He threw the baby in a pan along with the placenta and the instruments he had just used. I saw the baby move in the pan. I asked another nurse and she said it was just reflexes. That baby boy had the most perfect angelic face I think I have ever seen in my life." (Capitol Hill Pro-Life Sources)
Next, the bill will go to the House floor for a vote where it is expected to pass without weakening amendments. It will then go to a House/Senate Conference Committee where we are expecting the Harkin Amendment reaffirming Roe v. Wade to be stricken from the Senate version, so that it can be sent to President Bush for his signature.