This Tuesday, House Republicans voted to expand a proposed D.C. abortion bill to apply to the whole country. The bill would ban abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy except cases where the mother’s life is in danger.
The four Democrats on the panel voted against the bill, known as the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, arguing that it allows no exceptions for rape victims, incest victims, women whose health is endangered by a pregnancy, and cases of severe fetal abnormalities.
Rep. John Conyers (D-Mich) objected to the fact that all of the lawmakers debating the abortion bill are men and that none are doctors. “It is totally out of order for us to determine a medical question like this under the guise of acting as members of the very vital House Judiciary Committee,” Conyers said. “No good has ever come from an all-male committee deciding the law about a woman’s body. This is not appropriate.”
Another Democrat on the panel, Ted Deutch (D-Fla) said that watching “a group of men” make medical decisions on behalf of women is “hard for people to take.”
“To insert a role of politics in all this, in what for [some parents] has gone from the greatest exultation they may have felt as a married couple to the depths of despair at learning they have found themselves in a situation they have to make that painful decision, is just not what we should be doing,” Deutch said.
All six Republicans who voted for the bill argued that fetuses can feel pain after 20 weeks of pregnancy, a claim that is medically disputed. They went on to suggest that the Supreme Court might one day take their side on the abortion issue, rejecting the notion that the bill is what some on the left have characterized as a “war on women.”
Late-term abortions “have been happening hundreds of times every single day for decades in America,” Trent Franks (R-Ariz) said. “Those who incomprehensibly call trying to change this a ‘war on women’ overlook the fact that roughly half of these babies that are so torturously killed each day are just little tiny women.”