National Partnership for Women & Families

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Rep. Franks Reintroduces 20-Week Abortion Ban for Washington, D.C.

Rep. Franks Reintroduces 20-Week Abortion Ban for Washington, D.C.

April 30, 2013 —Following the failure of a nearly identical bill (HR 3803) last year, Rep. Trent Franks (R-Ariz.) on Friday introduced legislation (HR 1797) that would ban abortion after 20 weeks of pregnancy in Washington, D.C., The Hill's "Healthwatch" reports. The measure is based on the disputed theory that a fetus can feel pain at that point.

In 2012, a similar bill failed under a suspension of the rules, a procedure under which bills need the support of at least two-thirds of House members to pass.

Reaction

The bill's supporters include the Susan B. Anthony List, which has tried to tie calls for increased abortion restrictions to the Kermit Gosnell trial.

The bill is expected to face opposition from abortion-rights supporters and backers of the D.C. "home rule" movement, who believe that Congress should not be allowed to set policy in the district.

Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-D.C.) said in a statement, "We will combat the insatiable Republican obsession with interfering with the rights of women in our city, as we have successfully done before" (Viebeck, "Healthwatch," The Hill, 4/26).