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.
Photo from Elvert Barnes via flickr.