WASHINGTON, DC -- The House of Representatives passed legislation today banning abortion at 20 weeks of pregnancy with onerous restrictions, which Planned Parenthood Action Fund said goes against the will of the American public and medical experts. This is the second time House Leadership has pushed a vote on this bill since January, having failed the first time due to objections from within the Republican caucus to a requirement for rape victims to report the incident before accessing abortion. House Leadership claimed to have “fixed” the bill, while in fact making it worse. The new version adds significant barriers for rape victims seeking safe and legal abortion – potentially requiring three separate appointments with two separate health care providers over the course of 48 hours. The bill also shames survivors of incest by denying them an exception if they are over the age of 18 and continues to require a woman under the age of 18 to report to law enforcement or a government agency before they can receive safe and legal abortion.
Statement from Cecile Richards, President, Planned Parenthood Action Fund:
“There is no science or medicine behind this bill -- just politics. This is the 29th time in four months that Congress has tried to restrict abortion, which is outrageous. The American public does not want politicians to interfere in women’s personal medical decisions and does not want Congress to spend its time on this.
“While women should not have to justify their personal medical decisions, the reality is that abortion later in pregnancy is very rare and often happens under very complex circumstances -- the very kind of circumstances where a woman and her doctor need every medical option available to them.”
Supporters of Planned Parenthood Action Fund, alongside NARAL Pro-Choice America, CREDO Action and Ultraviolet were turned away from Speaker Boehner's office this afternoon while trying to deliver more than 224,000 petitions from people across the country speaking out against the 20 week ban.
Five reasons Congress should have rejected the ban:
Abortion later in pregnancy is very rare and often happens under complex circumstances. Nearly 99% of abortions happen before 21 weeks.
When politicians pass laws like this, it’s women and their families who suffer.
A solid 60 percent of voters oppose 20-week bans when they understand the real-world impact these laws would have.
Doctors oppose these laws because they prevent them from giving their patients the best health care possible in an individual situation.
This bill is clearly part of a larger agenda to ban abortion completely.