Arizona congressman demands nationwide ban on abortions after 20 weeks
An Arizona Republican congressman is using the case of convicted abortion provider Kermit Gosnell as justification for a bill he plans to introduce which would ban all abortions after the 20-week pregnancy mark.
Think Progress reported on Tuesday that Rep. Trent Franks’ (R-AZ) proposal is an expanded version of a bill he proposed to cover the District of Columbia.
“Had Kermit Gosnell dismembered these babies before they had traveled down the birth canal only moments earlier, he would have, in many places nationwide, been performing an entirely legal procedure,” Franks said in a statement released on May 17.
Gosnell was convicted on three of four counts of first-degree murder on May 13 for killing four children after delivering them by cutting their spinal cords. Gosnell was also found guilty of involuntary manslaughter in the overdose death of a patient.
Rep. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC,) who called Franks’ original measure a “stealth way” to undermine Roe v. Wade, said she would continue to oppose his efforts in her own statement.
“With the help of women nationwide, we defeated the D.C. abortion ban bill on the House floor last Congress,” she said. “Now that the Franks bill will expressly target all U.S. women, we can expect an even stronger national response to this attack on women’s health.”
Roll Call reported that the Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution and Civil Justice, which Franks helms, will discuss the bill at a hearing on Thursday.
A similar law in Franks’ home state was struck down on Tuesday after being ruled as unconstitutional by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.
[Image via Rep. Trent Franks official Facebook page]