Ranking as one of the worst legacies of the Clinton-Gore administration, along with the impeachment and numerous scandals, is the president's continued, unbending approval of infanticide -- partial birth abortion.
Since 1995 Republicans and a growing number of Democrats in Congress have unsuccessfully tried to stop this grisly procedure. Sizable Senate and House majorities have passed a ban but President Bill Clinton -- with his smiling "Gee, I wish I could help you" attitude -- always killed it with a veto.
The U.S. House of Representatives, to its credit, is trying again. On April 5 it passed the Partial Birth Abortion Ban Act by a vote of 287 to 141.
H.R. 3660 imposes a maximum of two years imprisonment and/or a fine on whoever performs a partial-birth abortion. It also establishes a civil cause of action against the abortionist for the father of the infant and, if the mother is a minor at the time of abortion, the maternal grandparents of the infant.
U.S. Rep. Charlie Norwood, R-Ga., is blunt: "The procedure we voted to end is without question murder, pure and simple. When a human being holds another human being's living body in their hands and stabs them in the brain with intent to kill, there's no other way to describe it."
The American Medical Association says partial-birth abortion is "not medically indicated" in any situation. Former Surgeon General C. Everett Koop (echoed by countless ob-gyns and fetal specialists who've testified on Capitol Hill) says it is "never medically necessary to protect a mother's health or her future fertility."
The president and vice president, who claim to want abortions to be "rare," have compiled a perfect pro-abortion record. Cementing that record by continuing to veto such reasonable legislation draws a sharp distinction between the leadership of the Democratic Party and that of the Republican Party. GOP presidential candidate George W. Bush says Clinton and Gore have embraced the extremist position of those who support abortion at any time and place for any reason. He's right.
Public opinion polls continue to reveal that the American people believe some abortions should be available, a sort of "necessary evil." But the same respondents also express revulsion for partial-birth abortions. That disgust will no doubt register, in no small measure, in many congressional races as well as in the presidential contest.