1982 September 9

Senate Rejects Federal Ban on Abortion


The Senate on this day rejected a cloture motion that would have shut off debate and allowed a vote on a bill to ban all federal financing of abortions. The anti-abortion measure received only 41 votes, far short of the 60 votes necessary for a cloture motion. President Ronald Reagan had announced his support of the bill the day before. The bill was considered less drastic than a proposed constitutional amendment to outlaw abortion, which anti-abortion leaders had originally supported.

The vote on this day was the last time a federal anti-abortion measure received serious consideration by the Senate. President Reagan gave lip-service support to the anti-abortion movement, but never made any serious effort to support anti-abortion legislation in Congress.

As governor of California, Reagan did sign into law a liberal abortion reform law reform bill, on June 15, 1967. It was one of the most liberal abortion reform laws to that time. He signed it, however, as part of a legislative deal with Republicans in the California legislature and was never very supportive of abortion, per se.

Learn more: James Risen and Judy Thomas, The Wrath of Angels: The American Abortion War (1998)

Learn more at a timeline on abortion lawshttp://www.prochoice.org/about_abortion/history_abortion.html

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