Republican presidential nominee Bob Dole released the following statement today:
"Last April, President Clinton vetoed a bipartisan bill, including an exception for the life of the mother, to prevent the horrible practice known as partial birth abortion. As more and more Americans have learned the details of this procedure, the President has been left almost alone, defending the indefensible.
"Today, Congress faces a vote to override Mr. Clinton's veto. It is a defining decision, because it will define who we recognize as part of the human family America is humane enough and inclusive enough to welcome these children, just moments from their first breath, into life. I urge members of all parties to come together in a resounding vote to override this veto and affirm our nation's sense of mercy and humanity.
"People of good will are divided on the abortion issue. But on the issue of partial birth abortion, we are not divided. Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan spoke for a broad consensus when he described the practice as 'too close to infanticide.' Like Representatives Richard Gephardt and David Bonier, Senator Moynihan could not in good conscience stand with his president on this issue.
"The President claims that partial birth abortion is necessary when unusual prenatal complications arise. He is disputed by most specialists in obstetrics, gynecology, pediatrics, and maternal and fetal medicine. Former Surgeon General C. Everett Koop has said that the president is being mislead by his medical advisors. He concludes: 'In no way can I twist my mind to see that the late term abortion as described -- you know, partial birth, and then destruction of the unborn child before the head is born -- is a medical necessity for the mother. It certainly can't be a necessity for the baby. So I am opposed to... partial birth abortion.'
"The bill President Clinton vetoed specifically excludes those cases where a mother's life is in danger. Today I challenge the President to explain to the American people why he persists in his false assertions despite the strong opposition of Dr. Koop and an array of other medical authorities. I sincerely hope on this issue that President Clinton will examine his conscience, reconsider his political pledges, and listen to his better self with Jack Kemp, today I call on Congress to expand the protections of our democracy and give voice to the conscience of America by overriding the President's veto."