Today, extremists in Congress continued their war on women by pressing for legislation that would criminalize abortions in the nation’s capital after 20 weeks of pregnancy. Sponsored by Rep. Trent Franks (R-Ariz.), the D.C. 20-Week Abortion Ban would have imposed federal fines and up to two years’ imprisonment for doctors, without exceptions for rape, incest or the pregnant woman’s health.
NOW and its allies worked around the clock to defeat the bill, and I am gratified that we succeeded. The next step is to replace those who voted for it with candidates who respect women’s fundamental right to make their own reproductive health care decisions.
The D.C. 20-week abortion ban is yet another example of House conservatives placing women’s health at risk as they pursue their reckless war on women. The proposed ban, moreover, was a clear infringement of the District’s right to home rule, and yet another outrageous example of the radical right using D.C.’s lack of statehood as an excuse to set a federal precedent that chips away at Roe v. Wade.
Rep. Franks and the 220 representatives who voted for this divisive anti-woman bill have no business interfering with the private decisions a woman makes with her doctor. More importantly, they have no place in the House of Representatives.
From now to November, NOW activists will be working to defeat those who voted for this appalling bill and replace them with those who support our rights.
Terry O’Neill, president of National Organization for Women