Arizona Congressman Wants to Restrict Abortions in D.C.
WASHINGTON, D.C. (WUSA/AP) -- An Arizona Congressman introduced a bill on Monday that would ban late-term abortions in the nation's capital. The bill from Republican Representative Trent Franks cites research that fetuses can feel pain starting at 20 weeks.
"These abortion doctors rip babies apart. It's painful. It's murder," said one of the thousands of pro-life supporters who walked in Monday's March for Life.
But Terry O'Neill, the president of the National Organization for women, says that research isn't backed by science.
"There is no scientific evidence to support that," said O'Neill. "That is a false claim that has been floating around since the 1970s."
O'Neill believes the bill is just another attempt to challenge Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court's landmark ruling which legalized abortions back in 1973.
"We are deeply concerned that they (the Supreme Court Justices) will reach out and deny women our fundamental rights if they have the opportunity," said O'Neill. "This congressman is simply trying to give the Roberts court one more opportunity to do that."
The bill has also raised issues about D.C. voting rights. After all, here you have a congressman who represents a district on the other side of the country trying to pass a bill that would only impact the District of Columbia.
"If he (Franks) believes that abortion should be a crime prior to 20 weeks, then he should introduce it to the entire country," said O'Neil. "But to introduce it only for the women of the District of Columbia is an act of cowardice on his part."
Rep. Franks did not respond to our requests for comment Monday evening. Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton, who represents the district in Congress, says she will work with her allies to help defeat the bill.