The White House confirmed Friday that President Clinton would veto a bill banning certain late-term abortions that has nearly worked its way through Congress.
The Senate voted 54-44 late Thursday to outlaw these rarely performed abortions unless no other procedure could save the mother’s life. Any doctor convicted of performing the procedure could face a two-year prison term.
The White House objects to the bill because it doesn’t also make an exception for a woman’s health. Senators voted 51-47 against an amendment by Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., that would have done that.
While the earlier House vote to approve the bill, 288-139, exceeded the two-thirds majority needed to override a veto, the Senate was not even close. Both chambers must gather two-thirds majorities for a bill to become law after a presidential veto.
White House press secretary Mike McCurry said Clinton considers the bill “an erosion of a woman’s right to choose.”
“He’s disappointed that there was not adoption of language last night that would make it clear that the life and health of the mother must be protected,” said McCurry.
The spokesman said the bill does not comply with the Supreme Court’s 1973 Roe vs. Wade ruling.