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Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act of 1995

The Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act was a bill introduced in the Congress of the United States in 1995 by Florida Representative Charles T. Canady which prohibited intact dilation and extraction, sometimes referred to as partial-birth abortion, which the Act described as "an abortion in which the person performing the abortion partially vaginally delivers a living fetus before killing the fetus and completing the delivery". The term "partial-birth abortion," coined by the Canady has never been recognized by the American Medical Association or the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.[1] Doctors convicted under the bill would receive a fine and up to a two-year prison sentence.[2] The bill was passed by both houses of Congress, but then vetoed by US President Bill Clinton.

Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act of 1995
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Legislative history
  • Introduced in the House by Charles T. Canady (R-FL) on June 14, 1995
  • Passed the House on November 1, 1995 (288-139)
  • Passed the Senate on December 7, 1995 (98-1) with amendment
  • House agreed to Senate amendment on March 27, 1996 (286-129)
  • Vetoed by President Bill Clinton on
  • Overridden by the House on September 19, 1996 (285-137)

The debate over the bill was rife with misleading information from both sides. Opponents of the bill argued that D & X procedures only occurred in the case of severe fetal defects or when carrying the birth to term endangered the life of the mother; its advocates argued that the majority for purely elective reasons.[3] These competing arguments both had some basis in truth but came from different classifications of D & X procedures; anti-Ban activists based their numbers solely on post-viability abortions, ignoring that pre-viability abortions account for more than 90 percent of D & X procedures.[3] The use of the term "elective" by pro-Ban activists, on the other hand, completely overlooked the contextual factors such as youth, trauma, and poverty, that push women to choose D & X.[3]

The House overrode President Clinton’s 1996 veto, but the Senate was several votes short of the required 2/3rds requirement with a margin of 58 yeas to 40 nays.[4] The Republican-controlled Congress tried to push a similar ban in January 1997 with House Resolution 1122, but again its efforts were defeated by President Clinton's veto.[5] A similar bill was later passed in 2003 as the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act, signed into law by President George W. Bush.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "ACOG Files Amicus Brief in Gonzales v. Carhart and Gonzales v. PPFA". Retrieved 2019-07-09.
  2. ^ Canady, Charles T. (January 6, 1997). "Text - H.R.1833 - 104th Congress (1995-1996): Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act of 1995".
  3. ^ a b c Oliveri, Rigel (January 1, 1998). "Crossing the Line: The Political and Moral Battle over Late-Term Abortion". Faculty Publications.
  4. ^ "Microsoft Word - Cover-The congressional debate.doc" (PDF). Retrieved 2019-07-09.
  5. ^ "H.R.1122 - 105th Congress (1997-1998): Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act of 1997". September 22, 1998.