House Passes 20-Week Abortion Ban

Championed by Arizona Rep. Trent Franks, the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act is symbolic.

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Carolyn Kaster / AP

Trent Franks on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, June 18, 2013.

In what some conservatives are calling the most important abortion measure to be considered by Congress since 2003’s partial birth abortion ban, the House today passed a bill that would make it illegal to terminate pregnancies after 20 weeks. The bill, which passed 228-196, is not expected to have an impact on federal abortion law. The Senate is unlikely to take up the bill and the White House has already threatened to veto such legislation if it ever lands on President Obama’s desk.

Championed by Arizona Rep. Trent Franks, the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act is symbolic. Republican-controlled state legislatures across the country have passed similar legislation, which has been sometimes struck down by the courts or tangled in ongoing litigation. The House effort is meant to add federal firepower to the slow and steady quest to challenge and eventually overturn the 40-year-old Roe v. Wade Supreme Court ruling, which held that abortion should be legal until a fetus is viable, generally understood to be around 24 weeks. Roe opponents say their momentum is building, especially on the heels of the high-profile murder trial of Philadelphia abortion doctor Kermit Gosnell, who performed illegal and sometimes gruesome late-term abortions and was recently sentenced to life in prison.

Not all Republicans endorsed the idea of bringing the 20-week abortion ban to a floor vote. Rep. Charlie Dent of Pennsylvania, told the New York Times that doing so was a “stupid idea” that risks alienating voters with more moderate views on abortion at a time of economic uncertainty. The measure attracted six Democratic votes; six Republicans voted against the bill.

40 comments
georgiamd
georgiamd

Biologically, from the moment of conception this new human being is not a part of the mother's body.  Since when does a mother's body have male genitals, two brains, four kidneys?  The preborn human being may be dependent upon the mother for nutrition, however, this does not diminish his or her humanity, but proves it.  Moreover, dependence upon a parent for survival is not a capital crime.

"I will neither give a deadly drug to anybody if asked for it, nor will I make a suggestion to this effect.  Similarly, I will not give to a woman an abortive remedy." Hippocrates, 400 B.C., Greece

therealdude
therealdude

With pointless votes like this it's no wonder the approval rating for congress is around 10%.

fitty_three
fitty_three

I wish I could work like that. I could do whatever the Hell I wanted, no matter how pointless, and still get paid for it!

TallusRip
TallusRip

More time and money wasted.  These dunderheads, and the people who voted for them, should be put in prison.  All these bills trying to legislate women's health and we're still paying $3.50+/gallon for gas?  Companies are still laying people off?  Is restricting a woman's right to autonomy over her own body so important to these people that they would gladly throw all of society into the toilet just to claim the "moral high ground"?  There is no morality here...only white old men trying to get women barefoot, pregnant and stuck in a kitchen somewhere.

memyself
memyself

Why did they waste time on a purely symbolic bill?

Wouldn't their time be better spent on a Jobs bill?

S_Deemer
S_Deemer

Keep this up, and the GOP will be a permanent minority party. To quote someone who used to post here, but has apparently been banned for trollish behavior: Moron alert.

TyPollard
TyPollard

Symbolic votes appeases the gods of the leviticus as is proscribed in the Constitution.

Hermione
Hermione

So what happened to 'states rights' Republicans?

forgottenlord
forgottenlord

Dumbest vote Republicans could've had and they did it anyway. 74% of Americans support abortions.  74% believe in a woman's right to choose.  Republicans just put it square in the spotlight.

Ohiolib
Ohiolib

@georgiamd Except that all those organs are NOT present at conception. They don't develop until later on. I'm not even a doctor, and I know that. Or did you just take your name because you're a big "House" fan?

bobcn
bobcn

@georgiamd

"Biologically, from the moment of conception this new human being is not a part of the mother's body"

Really?  Have you never heard of the umbilical cord (or the mother's circulatory system)?

It's a silly argument anyway.  It proves nothing.  No one is arguing that an embryo or fetus isn't human.  Hair clippings on the barbershop floor are also human.  What matters is whether an embryo or fetus is a person.  The answer is: no, not yet.  Personhood is more than just DNA.

mantisdragon91
mantisdragon91

@georgiamd Biologically neither is a sperm once ejaculated. Should we make masturbation and oral sex illegal as well?

KimGaston
KimGaston

@TallusRip  You can sugar coat your "women's health" or "woman's right to autonomy " all you want. It does not change the fact that it is killing a living creature who feels pain, and has a future of birthdays, friends, graduations, heartache and love, like all of us. A recent poll found 48% of the US view themselves as pro-life, while 45% are pro-choice. I am quite certain 48% of our population are not all "white old men trying to get women barefoot, pregnant, and stuck in the kitchen somewhere," Your name calling and generalizations are offensive and stereotypical. I could generalize all of those who receive abortions, but I choose not to insult those who obviously need help. Killing a 20 week, or 30 week or older "fetus" is not help. We need to help BOTH of them create a fresh start for a life worth living.   

ARTRaveler
ARTRaveler

Actually it might be better to show that they cared abourt the American people and not bowing over to kiss the rings of fundamentalist preachers, many who have never even been to divinity school!

Ohiolib
Ohiolib

@S_Deemer ...does it still count as keeping his bet if he was forced to? 

guswfla1
guswfla1

@Hermione Right-Wing Conservative values out-weigh states rights, especially if you're a hypocrite.

ARTRaveler
ARTRaveler

There is a Harvard Business School study called the Dying Swan where you attempt to shore up more and more of a smaller and smaller demographic until you own 100% of nothing.  Some pharmaceutical companies tried that with price INCREASES when their generic competition came out.  They might want to ask them how well that strategy worked (hint: it didn't).

Hermione
Hermione

It is called 'pandering to the base'.

georgiamd
georgiamd

@Ohiolib @georgiamd  No, Ohiolib, but at 20 weeks, they certainly are. If your fetus happens to be female, she already has eggs in her uterus. Are you STILL ready to destroy this life? If so, then may God have mercy on your soul!


georgiamd
georgiamd

@bobcn @georgiamd   bobcn, the fetus is surrounded by a fetal life-support system composed of the placenta, the umbilicalcord, and the amniotic sac. All are expelled upon delivery.

Ohiolib
Ohiolib

@KimGaston@TallusRip

It does not change the fact that it is killing a living creature who feels pain

The "pain" threshold is useless as you're using it. By that standard, most animals would also be worthy of legal protection. And the whole concept of "bodily autonomy" is kinda important. You don't get it to ignore it when it suits your political views. If you can find me a single shred of objective, clearcut evidence that fetuses are people, I will change my position and admit you are right. I've been telling conservatives this for years. not a one of them has ever done it. 

mantisdragon91
mantisdragon91

@KimGaston @TallusRip So exactly what has the GOP done to help these new kids coming into the world? Improve education, strengthen safety nets, provide sick leave to allow parents to be with their kids in times of illness? The answer would be a resounding NO to all these things. Seems the GOP only cares about people until they leave the womb, after that you are on your own.

Hollywooddeed
Hollywooddeed

@KimGaston @TallusRip  Since that's how you feel, KimGaston, feel free to have the courage of your convictions.  However, when it comes to everyone else, feel free to mind your own business.

ARTRaveler
ARTRaveler

If 74% don't like your position and 26% do, it makes a lot of sense to continually remind people that elected you that you don't give a damn about what they think or want.  Can you do this monthly leading up to the 2014 elections and let's see how well the House survives.  And do the immigration bill every month also.  Why not a pro-slavery bill also monthly?

forgottenlord
forgottenlord

@Hermione 

How much pandering do they need to do?  37 attempts to repeal ObamaCare, 3 straight years of Austerity budgets, the fiscal cliff, the gigantic showdown over the debt ceiling and now they aren't even going to bring immigration reform up for a debate.  There's pandering and then there's capitulating.

ARTRaveler
ARTRaveler

The GOTP  isn't prolife, just pro-fetus.  They are still for wars, they are still for the death penalty, they still don't give a damn about the mother's health before the baby is born or the child's health after birth. And, it is not a baby until it is born.  Prior to that time it is a zygote or a fetus and calling a fertus a baby is like calling your thumb a finger-it might make you feel good but doesn'rt change the facts that it is still a thumb, another of  those pesky things that Republicans hate-facts!

mantisdragon91
mantisdragon91

@KimGaston @mantisdragon91 @TallusRip Actually it does seem like only the GOP is interested in telling women when they can and can't have kids. And until they actually take provisions to make sure that these kids actually have a chance after they are born they really need to STFU.

KimGaston
KimGaston

@mantisdragon91 @KimGaston @TallusRip  You are wrong to think only the GOP are interested in protecting the unborn. The fact that it is assumed people must choose a side and cannot differ on many topics that relate to both parties is what is wrong with our country. We are each individuals and not a cookie cutter Republican or Democrat. Acknowledging that would wise.

Hollywooddeed
Hollywooddeed

@KimGaston @Hollywooddeed @TallusRip Actually, you're quite wrong.  The fetus has no rights, however, women do.  Read the law.  If you disagree, petition the Supreme Court.

Please don't put words in anyone's mouth and decide they make decisions based on "inconvenience".  Women make decisions all the time for very good reasons and they don't include you.

KimGaston
KimGaston

@Hollywooddeed @KimGaston @TallusRip  I think where we differ, is my view that once this creature feel pain, it has rights and should be protected, while you see it as an inconvenience, like an abnormal growth. I still respect your opinion, although we do disagree.


fitty_three
fitty_three

@manlyman 

My my. No context and the zinger is only directed at me.

Since you can't rebut, I'll chalk it up as an 'L' in your stats.

manlyman
manlyman

Good for you filthy_boy. The first step is admitting you have a problem.