National Catholic Register

Culture of Life

Life Notes

BY Jim Cosgrove

May 16-22, 1999 Issue | Posted 5/16/99 at 2:00 PM


Voters in 2000 Will be More Pro-Life

USA TODAY, May 5—A new USA Today/CNN/Gallup Poll includes a variety of opinions concerning abortion that paper says may affect the year 2000 election.

It reported that public opinion is shifting in part because of President Bill Clinton's two-time veto of a ban on partial-birth abortion. Sixty-one percent favor banning the procedure, the highest percentage since it first became an issue.

USA Today also offered these statistics:

• 71% support “some or total restrictions on abortion.”

• 19% agree that “a candidate's views on abortion must match theirs to get their vote.”

The poll was split evenly between those who consider abortion to be a key issue for them in voting and those who consider it “just another” issue they consider.

In a statement about the poll, the National Right to Life Committee said it believes that national educational programs and the national reaction to the partial birth abortion issue caused the shift.

“We applaud the efforts of our state affiliates and their countless volunteers across the nation who have worked tirelessly to expose the truth about the brutal partial birth abortion and protect unborn babies from this brutal procedure,” said National Right to Life executive director David N. O'Steen in a statement. He added, “We have always said that the more Americans learn about abortion the more they reject it.”

Governor Vetoes Partial Birth Abortion Ban

The Kansas City Star, May 5-Governor Mel Carnahan will veto a bill that would make it a felony to perform the partial birth abortion procedure except when necessary to preserve the mother's life, reported the paper.

Planned Parenthood officials in the area told the paper that the bill would erode abortion rights, while doctors who use the procedure said the bill would hold them responsible for taking the life of a child.

Governor Carnahan is quoted saying, “The very idea we would be finding women culpable and charging them with murder, putting them in jail, for making a health decision is very disturbing.”

Partial birth abortion is the name given to a procedure in which a late-term child is delivered feet first to the neck before a doctor punctures the skull and removes the contents.

“Mel Carnahan is trying once again to impose his extreme abortion views on Missouri, extending even to the horrible practice of partial-birth abortion,” Steve Hilton, a spokesman for U.S. Senator John Ashcroft, told the paper.

The report noted that the veto will probably be over-ridden by the legislature, and that seven other states have banned partial birth abortion.

Quindlen Cancels Villanova Speech

PRO-LIFE INFONET, May 9—Last year, novelist and columnist Anna Quindlen was the featured speaker at the National Abortion Rights Action League's celebration of 25 years of legal abortion.

This year, she was the scheduled graduation speaker at Villanova University, a Catholic college in Pennsylvania, according to the Pro-Life Infonet. The news-watching service said activists demanded that the University choose another speaker.

On May 10, pro-life groups announced that Quindlen had voluntarily canceled her plans to speak at the graduation.