URGENT: Tell Your Representative to Reject Bill to Ban Abortion in D.C.

July 30, 2012

The U.S. House of Representatives will vote Tuesday on a bill that would outlaw all abortions in Washington, D.C. after 20 weeks—with the only exception to save a mother from immediate death. 

The Center for Inquiry (CFI) opposes this measure, and urges its members to contact their representatives to ask him or her to vote no.

H.R. 3803, sponsored by Rep. Trent Franks (R-AZ), would prevent a woman from having an abortion in many important situations: where continuing a pregnancy could put at risk her health or ability to bear children in the future; where she is suffering from mental illness; and where she has learned of a severe or fatal fetal anomaly. It would also impose criminal penalties on any physician found to violate the law, including up to $250,000 in fines and two years in prison.

This bill is wrong for several reasons.

H.R. 3803 is based on the assumption that fetuses can experience pain at 20 weeks. However, this is unsupported by existing scientific research, which suggests fetuses do not experience pain until at least 29 or 30 weeks. Furthermore, only 1.4 percent of all abortions happen after 21 weeks, and those usually occur due to urgent health dangers or difficulty accessing abortion services.

The bill also clearly violates almost 40 years of Supreme Court jurisprudence. The Court has held consistently—in Roe v. Wade (1973), Doe v. Bolton (1973), and Planned Parenthood v. Casey (1992)—that our Constitution provides women with the right to choose whether to have an abortion.

Reproductive health care laws should be based on science and reason, and women should have the right to make their own reproductive choices. Message your House Representative today and tell him or her to reject H.R. 3803!

Click here to take action now.