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July 27, 2012

House to Vote on Bill Attacking Women in Nation’s Capital

Legislation banning abortion for women in tragic circumstances fuels agenda that is out of touch with nation’s values and priorities

Washington, D.C.Anti-choice leaders of the U.S. House of Representatives today announced that they will hold a vote next Tuesday on a bill that undermines the reproductive rights of women in the nation’s capital.

“If there were an Olympic event for the most out-of-touch and heartless policy, anti-choice politicians in the House, sadly, would have no competition for the gold medal,” said Nancy Keenan, president of NARAL Pro-Choice America. “The vote on this bill is yet another example of why we must elect more pro-choice candidates to the House. This agenda is out of touch with our nation’s values and priorities—and we will fight it every step of the way.”

The legislation, H.R.3803, is the third stand-alone anti-choice measure that the House has advanced in the last four months. NARAL Pro-Choice America has joined Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton, D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray, and other civil- and reproductive-rights leaders in opposition to this legislation. The bill would ban abortion at 20 weeks in the District of Columbia, with no consideration for a woman’s health or her situation, including cases of rape, incest, or fetal anomaly. District of Columbia resident Christy Zink, who terminated a pregnancy at 21 weeks after doctors found a cyst on the brain of the fetus and a follow-up MRI revealed severe anomalies of the brain, would have been unable to get the care she needed had this ban been in effect.  

The House bill is modeled after an abortion ban first enacted in Nebraska in 2010. So far, eight more states have followed Nebraska’s lead, and now anti-choice organizations are pressuring Congress to override local elected leaders and impose this ban on the women of Washington, D.C.

Here are other examples of recent anti-choice attacks in Congress:

  • This month, House anti-choice leaders released a spending bill that includes a long list of anti-choice provisions. The bill eliminates funding for Title X, the nation’s cornerstone family-planning program, and bars Planned Parenthood from receiving federal funds. The bill also blocks funding for the Affordable Care Act, the landmark health-care reform law that will provide millions of women prenatal care coverage and no-cost birth control.
  • In March, the Judiciary Committee approved a bill, H.R.2299, which would endanger the health and safety of young women and threaten caring grandmothers with jail time.
  • In May, anti-choice leaders failed to secure the necessary votes to pass a divisive bill, H.R.3541, which was wrongly described as a symbol for women’s rights.

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