Rep. Trent Franks (R-AZ) held a hearing of the House Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution and Civil Justice on Thuesday to consider a bill that would institute a 20-week abortion ban in Washington, D.C., just days after a federal appeals court declared that a similar law in Arizona is unconstitutional.
But that doesn’t seem to matter much to the Arizona congressman, who appeared Thursday with Tony Perkins, president of the anti-LGBT hate group Family Research Council, and declared that he believes America’s founders were anti-abortion as well, then compared abortion to the Nazi holocaust and slavery.
“The pro-life perspective is a growing majority in America,” he added, in video snipped by Right Wing Watch, embedded below. “We are the ones that rushed into eastern Europe and arrested the Nazi holocaust. We are the ones that said no more to slavery after 1,000 years. And, by the grace of God, we’re gonna be the ones that say we’re gonna protect our unborn children.”
“Will we uphold that great perspective that the founding fathers believe that every child had the imago dei stamped on their souls, the image of God, and they were children of God worth protecting, of inestimable value,” he added.
In an advisory sent to reporters last month, Franks announced the D.C. abortion ban by highlighting the fact that several states, “including my home state of Arizona,” have passed laws similar to what he hopes Congress will force upon the District of Columbia without any local input whatsoever.
“The District of Columbia has always had an abysmal record where the protection of unborn children is concerned,” he said. “Now is the time for my colleagues to step up to our Constitutional responsibility and not sit idly by while this grotesque and brutal procedure, which rips the live pain capable babies apart limb by limb, continues in the national Capital of the land of the free and the home of the brave.”
However, the whole idea Republicans have been pushing for so long, that states can regulate abortion out of existence, kind of ran into a brick wall on Tuesday when the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that Arizona’s abortion ban is flatly unconstitutional.
“[R]egulations involve limitations as to the mode and manner of abortion, not preclusion of the choice to terminate a pregnancy altogether,” the judge wrote. “Arizona’s twenty-week law is a preclusion prior to fetal viability and is thus invalid under binding Supreme Court precedent.”
“Everywhere that similarly unconstitutional laws have been challenged in the courts—including Rep. Franks’ home state of Arizona just this week—they have been blocked before they could jeopardizewomen’s health and lives,” Center for Reproductive Rights CEO Nancy Northup said in an advisory.
“Decisions about a woman’s pregnancy are not for politicians to make,” Planned Parenthood CEO Cecile Richards added in prepared text. “That’s what we’ve heard time and time again – from the courts and from the American people. These laws are outrageous, they will not stand, and Representative Franks is wasting time and taxpayer money by holding a hearing on his unconstitutional legislation. Speaker Boehner and House Leadership should put a stop to this.”
This video is from the Family Research Council, published to YouTube on May 23, 2013 by Right Wing Watch.
Stephen C. Webster is the senior editor of Raw Story, and is based out of Austin, Texas. He previously worked as the associate editor of The Lone Star Iconoclast in Crawford, Texas, where he covered state politics and the peace movement’s resurgence at the start of the Iraq war. Webster has also contributed to publications such as True/Slant, Austin Monthly, The Dallas Business Journal, The Dallas Morning News, Fort Worth Weekly, The News Connection and others. Follow him on Twitter at @StephenCWebster.
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