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District of Columbia Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC

Mr. FARR. Mr. Speaker, the majority claims that there is no war on women, but here is yet another example of their attempt to restrict women's access to reproductive health care. H.R. 3803 is quite simply another attempt by anti-choice Republicans to reverse the freedoms women have gained over the last several decades regarding reproductive choice in health care.

Once again, the majority has sought to restrict women's access to reproductive healthcare by threatening doctors with prison (two years) and other penalties if they perform abortions after 20 weeks. With doctors fearful of yet even more restrictions to their practice, many will simply refuse to treat women who want to obtain a safe and legal abortion, thus achieving the majority's intended goal.

Unbelievably, this bill also allows the woman who obtains the abortion, the father, or the maternal grandparents to press civil charges against the doctor! In addition, there are no exceptions to this ban for rape, incest, fetal anomaly, or a woman's health, and with only a narrow exception for a woman's life. This bill also uses the term ``unborn child'' which is a very slippery slope.

The fact that H.R. 3803 is blatantly unconstitutional has been over-looked by the majority. It clearly violates two Supreme Court decisions regarding pre-viability and exceptions for a woman's life and health.

There can be no doubt about the national implications of a bill with D.C.'s name on it as a cover for attacking the reproductive rights of the Nation's women. The citizen's of the District of Columbia are being unfairly attacked. It is absolutely shameful that the sponsors of this legislation are trying to impose their will on the women of D.C. because they know for a fact they could not pass this policy at the national level.

Mr. Speaker, H.R. 3803 is just another attempt by the majority to wage a war upon women--unfortunately, this time it is directed at residents of the District of Columbia.

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