Shortly after Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC) wrote today to Representative Franks (R-AZ), chairman of the House Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution, requesting to testify at the subcommittee's hearing next Thursday on Franks' bill (H.R. 1797) that would ban all abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy in the District of Columbia (with limited exceptions), but in no other jurisdiction, Franks granted Norton that courtesy. Despite being denied the courtesy to testify on the D.C. abortion ban bill by Franks last Congress, the Congresswoman, along with pro-choice congressional allies and a coalition of 100 national and local organizations, defeated the bill in a vote on the House floor, while the companion Senate bill did not receive a hearing or a vote.
"I appreciate receiving the courtesy to testify on the bill affecting only the District of Columbia, its residents and physicians," said Norton.
The Franks bill singles out the District for discriminatory treatment by prohibiting abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy in only one local jurisdiction, the District of Columbia, violates the explicit terms of Roe v. Wade, guaranteeing abortion rights to women in the U.S., and attacks the city's home-rule rights by overturning its local laws and violating the individual constitutional rights of its residents. Senator Mike Lee (R-UT) has reintroduced the D.C. abortion ban bill (S.886) in the Senate.