May 16, 2012
Radicals in the House of Representatives are poised to host a hearing on a dangerous new abortion ban for the District of Columbia. Sponsored by Rep. Trent Franks (R-Ariz.), H.R. 3803 and its Senate companion would ban abortion care at 20 weeks in Washington, D.C., imposing penalties and/or jail time on doctors who provide this necessary health care, even those stepping in to preserve a woman's health. Tell your representatives to oppose the D.C. 20-Week Abortion Ban.
The National Right to Life Committee has declared the "District of Columbia Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act" a top legislative priority. Like so many efforts in the War on Women, this D.C. 20-Week Abortion Ban employs belief -- not science -- to bar women from accessing constitutionally protected reproductive health care.
No exceptions for rape, incest, health conditions
NOW objects to all efforts to have politicians take away decisions a woman currently makes with her doctor, including the D.C. 20-Week Abortion Ban. Making this bill even more objectionable, there are no exceptions for rape, incest or many health conditions facing a woman seeking abortion care. There are no exceptions for a woman seeking to end a pregnancy due to fetal anomalies.
Penalties, jail time and public reporting requirements for doctors
The D.C. 20-Week Abortion Ban also subjects doctors who provide abortion care after 20 weeks to the threat of civil and criminal penalty. Provisions are included that encourage family members of a woman who seeks later abortion care to sue her doctor. The ban also suggests federal fines and up to two years imprisonment for doctors. Additionally, all doctors providing abortion care at any stage would be required to contribute to new and publicly searchable reports detailing, for each abortion, weeks of pregnancy, method of abortion and the age of the woman seeking it.
Infringement of home rule in the District of Columbia
In a recent national poll, 78 percent of respondents nationwide agreed Congress should not interfere in the District of Columbia's local affairs and budget. The D.C. 20-Week Abortion Ban is a clear infringement of the District's right to home rule, and yet another outrageous example of the radical right using the District of Columbia's lamentable lack of statehood as excuse to conduct a social experiment. The Phoenix-Scottsdale chapter of NOW recently staged a protest with allies from DC Vote outside a district office of Rep. Trent Franks' in Glendale, Arizona -- a location quite far from the District of Columbia.
Tell your representatives to vote "NO" on the D.C. 20-Week Abortion Ban.