House to Vote on 20-Week Abortion Ban Today

[Content Note: War on agency; rape culture.]

Today, the US House of Representatives will vote on the "Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act," a 20-week abortion ban with heinous requirements to access abortion for people who are pregnant as a result of rape and incest.

There is still time to contact your representative and ask her or him to oppose this reprehensible bill.

At RH Reality Check, Emily Crockett details many of the problems with the legislation (which is to say nothing of the fact that the legislation is an unnecessary piece of anti-choice propaganda in the first place):
The ban, sponsored by Rep. Trent Franks (R-AZ), has been amended to address concerns that its rape exception could re-traumatize victims by forcing them to report their attack to the police, though the new version still places hurdles before both rape and incest victims, still forces doctors to act against their best medical judgment, and still appears to be blatantly unconstitutional.

...[I]nstead of reporting to police, rape victims must seek counseling or medical attention at least 48 hours before their procedure, forcing women to make multiple trips if they haven't already sought counseling. The counseling can't take place at an abortion clinic.

That's only for adult rape victims, however. For those younger than 18 who are victims of rape or incest, the crime still has to be reported either to police or to "a government agency legally authorized to act on reports of child abuse."

The exception doesn't apply for incest victims older than 18.

The new provision for adult rape survivors amounts to a "cruel and unnecessary two-day waiting period," according to a statement on the legislation released by the Center for Reproductive Rights (CRR).

Waiting periods often force women to spend unnecessary time and money, while increasing stress and forcing doctors to misinform women about the supposed harms of abortion.

"The new language is alarming in a number of ways," writes Robin Marty at Dame Magazine. "Even without abortion alternatives information being forced upon her, the idea that potentially unwanted counseling would be a hoop a survivor of sexual assault must jump through in order to 'earn' an abortion is deplorable."

Marty notes that the GOP bill is likely meant to intimidate physicians out of performing abortions after 20 weeks, even if they are medically called for, simply because the legal hoops seem too risky or burdensome.

Even if the conditions for an exception are met, doctors must comply with "arduous new reporting requirements" that conflict with established medical protocol, according to CRR.

Doctors also have to perform the procedure "by the method most likely to allow the child to be born alive," unless it poses significant risk to the pregnant woman, and bring in a second specialist trained in neonatal resuscitation if the fetus has a chance of survival.

The bill doesn't contain exceptions for a woman's health, CRR notes, which could put a woman's life in danger by forcing her to wait until a medical condition becomes technically life-threatening.

The ban also forces women to carry a pregnancy to term even if the fetus has severe abnormalities and won't survive. Many women who have abortions after the 20-week mark have wanted pregnancies that have gone wrong, and see abortion as compassionate end-of-life care for their child.
Just last week, I linked to a piece by a woman named Kate, who had to terminate a wanted pregnancy in its eighth month. Her story is heartbreaking, and it's also not unusual among people who terminate pregnancies after 20 weeks. The dirtbags in Congress who are supporting this contemptible bill want to make an incredibly difficult situation even more difficult.

And they're doing it under the mirthlessly laughable auspices of being "pro-life," despite the fact that they refuse to include exceptions for a pregnant person's health, thus requiring by law that a pregnant person's life must actually be in danger before zie can access a late-term abortion.

That is not in any way consistent with being "pro-life." They are filthy liars who tell mendacious tales about abortion-seeking people in order to justify harming them.

This legislation is utter garbage, peddled by aggressively indecent ghouls.

Shakesville is run as a safe space. First-time commenters: Please read Shakesville's Commenting Policy and Feminism 101 Section before commenting. We also do lots of in-thread moderation, so we ask that everyone read the entirety of any thread before commenting, to ensure compliance with any in-thread moderation. Thank you.

blog comments powered by Disqus