House Advances Bill to Limit Abortion
June 12, 2013, 7:00am

They are at it again. With faux-science and no exception for rape victims, House Republicans are marginalizing women and again attempting to limit a women’s right to choose.

Read this NY Times article and call your representative.

House Republicans Advance Bill to Limit Women’s Choice.

June 12, 2013
House Panel Advances Bill To Restrict Abortions


WASHINGTON — Legislation that would outlaw nearly all abortions after the 22nd week of pregnancy was put on a fast track to the House floor on Wednesday after being approved in committee on a party-line vote.

The 20-to-12 vote by the House Judiciary Committee on the Republican-sponsored Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act is the latest instance in which abortion opponents, emboldened by a series of victories in the states, have pursued a new legislative strategy that aims to focus public attention on the disputed theory that fetuses can feel pain.

“Delivered or not, babies are babies, and it has been shown that they can feel pain at least by 20 weeks,” said Representative Robert W. Goodlatte, the Virginia Republican who is the chairman of the committee. “It is time to welcome young children who can feel pain into the human family. And this bill, at last, will do just that.”

A vote by the full House could come as early as next week, aides to Republican House leaders said, though the bill is virtually certain to go no further because of opposition in the Democratic-controlled Senate.

Republicans found themselves once again wading into politically perilous territory on a subject — reproductive rights — that badly tripped them up in the 2012 elections after Republican candidates made indelicate and erroneous comments about rape and contraception.

Indeed, a brief aside before Wednesday’s vote from the bill’s Republican sponsor, Representative Trent Franks of Arizona, showed how the issue continues to present problems for Republicans.

Responding to criticism from Democrats that the bill contained no exception for rape victims, Mr. Franks said that instances of pregnancies from rape were actually “very low.”

That prompted an outcry from Democrats on the committee and liberal commentators online, who quickly seized on the remark as an example of Republican insensitivities to women’s issues.

After a short recess for lunch, Mr. Franks returned to the committee meeting to address the matter, saying that his words had been distorted. He actually said, he explained, that pregnancies from rape “that result in abortion beginning after the sixth month are very rare.”

Democrats swiftly corrected him. “The exact quote was,” said Representative Jerrold Nadler of New York, “the incidents of rape resulting in pregnancy are very low.”

House Democrats and abortion rights proponents seemed to relish the opportunity to once again portray conservatives as anti-woman, anti-science and bent on wasting time on another measure that stands no chance of becoming law.

Representative Hank Johnson of Georgia was one of several Democrats who pointed out that no female Republicans sit on the Judiciary Committee.

“This is a glaring deficiency in the caucus on the other side — no women,” he said. “This is 2013.”

Even before the session turned testy, Democrats and Republicans spent the morning debating the issue of unwanted pregnancies. Republicans made comparisons to genocide and state execution; Democrats told stories of complicated pregnancies that endangered women’s lives.

The legislation’s purpose is to make abortion illegal once a fetus has developed enough to feel pain. It sets a limit of about 22 weeks based on science that is hotly disputed.

Most medical scientists say the fetal brain has not developed enough at 22 weeks of pregnancy to feel pain.

The bill would ban abortions 20 weeks after fertilization, which in the most common way of dating pregnancies is equal to 22 weeks, because pregnancies are typically dated from the first day after a woman’s last menstrual period.

The threshold the Supreme Court has set for legal abortions is around 24 weeks, which is considered the approximate time of a fetus’s viability. Legal experts have therefore doubted that the House bill could survive a constitutional challenge.