The House of Representatives delivered a partial-birth abortion ban feet-first to the Senate, which may not kill the bill but most likely will ignore it to death. The vote in the House last week was 274-151, which is better than pro-life leaders expected. They thought the Supreme Court's 2000 decision to strike down a Nebraska ban on partial-birth would peel away more votes. But the winning majority was only 13 votes shy of the last vote total in favor of making partial-birth abortion illegal. Opponents of the ban picked up only 10.
Only three Democrats shifted from supporting a ban to opposing it-Joe Baca of California, and Tom Barrett and Ron Kind of Wisconsin.
The bill, if past votes are any indication, would easily pass the Senate; but majority leader Tom Daschle is expected to block consideration-as he has on the other raft of GOP-backed bills awaiting action.