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Rep. Trent Franks’ (R-Ariz.) nationwide 20-week abortion ban is close to passing in the House of Representatives. He recently reintroduced the D.C. Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, which would outlaw abortions in the District of Columbia after 20 weeks — in clear violation of Roe v. Wade — and he is amending it so that its provisions will apply across all 50 states.
The Republican Party and its allies are demonizing the fight for reproductive rights and hijacking the legislative process to limit or even abolish women’s access to reproductive health care. But women aren’t fooled — and we intend to win this fight. The stakes couldn’t be higher: It’s a matter of access to vital reproductive health care.
The right wing has achieved some alarming and dangerous success at the state level. In North Dakota, for example, Gov. Jack Dalrymple signed into law a “fetal heartbeat” bill that criminalizes abortions after six weeks of pregnancy — the most restrictive such law in the country. Arkansas runs a close second: The Republican-controlled state House and Senate recently overrode a veto by the Democratic governor to pass a ban at 12 weeks. And now Tea Party extremists in the U.S. Congress want in on the act.