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D.C. Rep Can’t Testify At Hearing Over D.C. Abortion Ban

D.C. Rep Can’t Testify At Hearing Over D.C. Abortion Ban

On Thursday the House Judiciary Committee will hold hearings on a bill sponsored by Rep. Trent Franks (R-AZ) that seeks to ban abortions after 20 weeks in the District of Columbia. Among those who will not be allowed to speak at the hearing is Democratic Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton. Norton represents the District and it is her constituents who would be affected by Franks’ bill should it pass.

But just like Rep. Darryl Issa, Franks is not at all interested in hearing from women on his bill, let alone women who may object to a Representative from Arizona legislating what access to health care the women in the District of Columbia have.

Norton issued a statement after learning she would not be allowed to testify blasting House Republicans and Franks’ snub.

The post-20-week D.C. abortion ban bill targets an entire group of individuals, women who live in the District of Columbia, and their constitutional rights. Using the women of one congressional district to reach for extreme encroachments on womenís reproductive rights has become a pattern of the House Republican majority, but also reflected nationwide. We will vigorously fight the bullying tactics of the Republican majority against the Districtís women, and in standing up for ourselves, we recognize that we are also in the larger fight to protect the reproductive rights of women everywhere.

It’s an extremely unusual breach of protocol to deny a sitting representative the opportunity to speak at a hearing on a measure that impacts her or his constituents. But clearly Franks is not concerned with comity and protocol when it’s pushing his anti-choice crusade on women who do not even have the opportunity to vote him out of office.

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Photo from Elvert Barnes via flickr.

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64 comments

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9:50AM PDT on Jun 4, 2012

Grazie per l'articolo.

4:37PM PDT on May 30, 2012

To be clear i am in favor of banning late term abortions but not all abortions

4:34PM PDT on May 30, 2012

I believe that a woman should have the right to choose but apart from medical reasons or an extreme case where a woman is prevented from obtaining an abortion earlier against her will or there is something wrong with the fetus there is no reason to complain about this. They are not attempting to ban abortion. As long as there is a provision for the situations i mentioned above and probably some others i did not think of there should be no problem. If aborton is legal a woman should be responsible enough to get one before she has allowed the pregnancy get as far as 20 weeks. A ball of cells is a very differentthing than a 20 week old fetus. At some point we need to accept that removing a fetus that far developed is not the same as anundeveloped ball of cells. I think that a fair cutoff could be when the fetus has developed pain receptors or has a functioning brain and therefor a sence of itself and a desire to survive. Then it is a baby and not just a thing. When i was pregnant my baby was sucking his thumb at 20 weeks and moved around when i listened to loud music. My point is that by that time he was a person and at least somewhat aware of things outside of himself.

8:18PM PDT on May 18, 2012

Pat M.,

I'd restate that - the GOP wants less governments in our lives that doesn't happen to agree with their ideas,

3:33PM PDT on May 18, 2012

Another green star for David re: comments from Carl

1:58PM PDT on May 18, 2012

I hope the people who didn't bother to vote like what's happening. Unless all of us who care about women and families get off our duffs and vote...this kind of legislation will continue.

6:27AM PDT on May 18, 2012

wonderful sexual relationships without the need or desire to reproduce.

Sexual pleasure for itself and the emotional closeness it brings to a relationship is immeasureable. Sex for enjoyment only?! Oh, the horror!!

6:24AM PDT on May 18, 2012

Elaine A. says:
" I do believe that is called a major "Conflict of interest" Can we say Kagen? I knew you could!"

HMMM...'Knew you could' what, Elaine? Do you have any idea about this conversation? IF you are so uninformed then why not either get up to speed, keep up or refrain from commenting entirely on a topic of which you obvious know so little?! It's women like you (if you are, in fact, a woman and that remains questionable) who do more damage to other women than even some men, and that is saying something.

There is a very disturbing, concerted trend to strip women of our rights and this "war" is being waged by the GOP. If you can't accept the truth, that is just too bad. The facts, and evidence, are very clear. Repressive bills and assorted measures to remove safeguards for legal, safe, medically supervised abortions are in abundance. Witness the assaults on women's rights to control their own healthcare and contraceptive decisions. These areas are not the purview of any religion or group of self-appointed old men in funny hats......Remember that, women are in control of their bodies and their health. Oddly, there has to date been no mention by the catholic church or any other religious group re: vasectomies, or any mention of drugs that increase sexual pleasure, such as viagra or cialis. The catholic church yammers that sex is intended for reproduction. Says who? Millions of people in loving relationships, whether in marriage or outside, have wonderfu

5:30AM PDT on May 18, 2012

thanks

12:03AM PDT on May 18, 2012

i thought the GOP wanted LESS government in our lives!!!

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Kristina Chew Kristina Chew teaches ancient Greek, Latin and Classics at Saint Peter's University in New Jersey.... more
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