Emily’s List, May 17, 2012 by Eleanor Holmes Norton
Today an all-male panel of Member of the House will hear witnesses on H.R. 3803, a bill banning abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy only in the District of Columbia. The Democrats on the House Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution have called a D.C. resident, Professor Christy Zink, whom we recommended to testify, because she had to have an abortion after 20 weeks under tragic circumstances. Her testimony will be front and center. Even before the hearing, however, Republicans have created yet another controversy by refusing to extend me the courtesy of testifying on behalf of the residents I was elected to represent, a long-standing congressional tradition.
Republican bullying tactics began with a bill that passed the House (but not the Senate) that would permanently prohibit the District of Columbia from spending its own local funds on abortions for low-income women. The same Judiciary Committee Republicans have now escalated their attack, from low-income women in the District to all women in the District, as well as women across the region who are cared for by physicians and health care personnel here. Under the bill, physicians who perform post-20-week abortions are subject to fines and up to two years in jail.
Senators, Members of the House, and women throughout the country have Tweeted their outrage. They understand this bill for what it is — a stalking horse for overturning Roe v. Wade and attacking the reproductive rights of women across the nation. My constituents are the Republicans’ chosen guinea pigs. Now is the time for women across the country to protest what the Republicans are doing to us and to stop them before they reach their chosen destinations nationwide. And now is the time to send more women to Congress, so the voices of women from every state and district can be heard.