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Norton Prepared to Take On D.C. Post-20-Week Abortion Ban for D.C.'s Women and Women Nationwide


Location: Washington, DC

Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC) said that D.C. residents and women across the nation are ready for H.R. 3803, the District of Columbia Pain-Capable Unborn Child Act, which would ban abortions in the District of Columbia after 20 weeks of pregnancy, scheduled for a House floor vote Tuesday, July 31, 2012. She said that women nationwide are not resting on the bill's "double violation of the Constitution" -- women's right to reproductive choice guaranteed under Roe v. Wade, and the 14th amendment right to equal treatment under the law.

"House Republicans and anti-choice forces could not care less about the Constitution or the District of Columbia," Norton said. "Women nationwide know that the D.C. label on the bill is cover for the far-right campaign that began in the states and is already being challenged in federal court. A phony federal imprimatur does not legitimize the bogus science on which the bill is based, or its war on reproductive choice aimed at women across the country. Republicans have abandoned their own principles by attempting to impose this bill on the District, whose abortion laws are like those of a number of states. Instead, with unvarnished opportunism, they have adopted schoolyard bullying tactics by using the women in the District, who have no vote in the House. We will defeat this full-throttle attack on our women and on our city in the courts, if necessary."

Norton asked to testify on behalf of her district at the Subcommittee on the Constitution hearing on the bill in May, citing the long-standing bipartisan tradition of allowing members of Congress to testify on bills affecting their districts, in addition to invited witnesses, but the subcommittee's chairman, Rep. Trent Franks (R-AZ), who is also the sponsor of the bill, denied her request.

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