President Clinton's veto of a ban on certain late-term abortions survived a challenge Friday when the Senate fell three votes short of an override. Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott pledged to keep fighting for it.

"This is not the end of the battle," Lott, R-Miss., said as he delivered news of the 64-36 vote to a meeting of the Christian Coalition. The conservative political group has made a ban on "partial-birth" abortions a top priority.While the vote appeared to close the book on the issue for this year, Lott said it could help elect GOP Senate candidates in the November elections.

A two-thirds majority, or 67 votes, is required for override votes in the Senate when all 100 members are present and voting.

Thirteen Democrats and 51 Republicans voted for the override, while four Republicans and 32 Democrats joined to sustain the veto. The vote means Clinton's veto will stand - at least until a new Congress convenes in January.