January 7, 2015
Congress Returns and Introduces Abortion Ban
Tuesday marked the first day of the 114th Congress and Republicans are making good on the anti-abortion rhetoric that helped gain them ground in the midterm elections. Reps. Trent Franks (R-AZ) and Marsha Blackburn reintroduced the Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, a measure to ban abortions after 20 weeks in direct violation of Roe v. Wade. It’s a move that’s already been popular on the state level—according to the Guttmacher Institute, nine states already ban abortions after 20 weeks. The measure’s based on the assumption that after 20 weeks, fetuses can feel pain, though no current research supports this. Why bother with research when you’ve got a newly gained stronghold over Congress? Late term abortions, while not only being extremely rare, are also often opted for because of fetal health issues that weren’t evident earlier in a pregnancy. It’s a measure that could force women to carry unviable fetuses to term. It’s also a measure that marks a renewed battle over women’s bodies, one we no longer have the numbers in Congress to fight. But outside of Congress? You can bet the gloves are coming off.