House will Vote on Nationwide 20-Week Abortion Ban Next Week

Despite the fact that abortion bans are unconstitutional, directly challenging Roe v. Wade, despite the fact that there’s little to no chance it will pass in the Senate, despite the fact that Americans are desperately hanging on by a thread while Tea Party-dominated Republicans pass everything except bills that would make their lives easier, while voting to cut food stamps and raise the cost of student loans, the US House will vote next week on a 20-week abortion ban introduced by Representative Trent Franks, another misogynist legislator from Arizona.

Arizona passed a 20-week ban in 2012, joining other states Indiana, Alabama, Georgia, Idaho, Oklahoma, Kansas, Louisiana and counting. Governor Perry has asked the Texas legislature to pass a 20-week ban in that state. But the bans in both Arizona and Idaho have been struck down. They are unconstitutional, as the law states that abortion is a woman’s right until “viability,” when a baby can live outside the womb, which doctors say is between week 24 to 26.

Some of the bans that have been passed have health exceptions for the mother, but many do not. I’ve written extensively about the need for abortion here and here and here, for starters. Even with perfect access to family planning and birth control, there will still be a need for abortion. Pregnancies simply do not always go as planned. As I stated in a recent post on the ban of abortion coverage in the Pennsylvania state insurance exchange:

Fetal anomalies and health risks to the mother due to an untenable pregnancy are typically not detectable until later in the second trimester. For the sake of their own health, and often in consideration of their existing family, pregnant women with these issues must then have access to safe abortion, one that usually costs much more than a first trimester abortion. Six out of ten women seeking abortion at any stage are already mothers…

Legislators motivated by religion- or political pandering- believe that, in the wake of the Gosnell murder trial, they may be able to pass whatever ideologically-based law suits their fancy, as if women don’t have rights, and aren’t prepared to defend them. Contact your Congress member to oppose this most recent affront to women’s liberty. Better yet, work very very hard to vote out the Tea Party right. Abortion bans have no place in our democracy, and the anti-woman Tea Party right wing has no place in it either.


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