Washington Post Editorial Criticizes Rep. Franks' Measure To Restrict Abortion Access in D.C.

May 29, 2012 — If Rep. Trent Franks (R-Ariz.) "is so interested in running the affairs of [Washington, D.C.] residents, as evidenced by his effort to restrict their abortion rights, then let him deal with all the other issues of local government," a Washington Post editorial states (Washington Post, 5/28).

Franks' bill (HR 3803) would prohibit abortion after 20 weeks of pregnancy in Washington, D.C., except to save the woman from death or "irreversible physical impairment." The bill does not include an exception for cases of rape, incest or fetal anomalies (Women's Health Policy Report, 5/18).

Franks recently declined to allow D.C. Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton (D) "the traditional courtesy of testifying about his proposal" during a May 17 subcommittee hearing, the editorial notes, adding, "Why bother hearing what the District's representative has to say about the measure -- how it will impact her constituents -- when indifference to those concerns is so apparent?"

Franks has said that the "District of Columbia is not the issue here. It's the pain of the child." But the Post editorial states, "What's specious about Mr. Frank's argument ... is that if his concern is with the pain of innocents -- an argument unsupported by real science -- then why aren't he and the National Right to Life Committee pushing for a nationwide ban?"

"The answer, of course, is that the District can always be counted on for easy pickings for politicians who don't mind scoring political points at the expense of D.C. citizens," the editorial concludes (Washington Post, 5/28).