WASHINGTON -- A key Senate panel has approved legislation establishing the right to an abortion in federal law, defying last-minute action by opponents intended to halt the bill.
The move by the Senate Labor and Human Resources Committee sent the measure, called the Freedom of Choice Act, to the full Senate. A twin bill was approved by a crucial House committee Tuesday, but the legislation faces an expected veto from President Bush.
Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, D-Mass., the committee's chairman, pledged action on the bill this month.
The parliamentary maneuvering and amendments offered to the bill yesterday gave a taste of the bitter legislative showdown expected over abortion issues.