by Greta Foster
This morning, the House Committee on the Judiciary held a markup on HR 3803, the District of Columbia Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act.
Based on the conclusion that an “unborn child is capable of experiencing pain at least by 20 weeks after fertilization,” the bill aims to restore the abortion limitations previously repealed by DC City Council in 2004. The bill would not only prohibit abortions for women 20 weeks or greater in term, unless to save the life of the woman, but it also comes with a penalty of up to two years in prison for violations.
The bill was introduced by Rep. Trent Franks (R-AZ), who was reprimanded by congressional members after he denied a request made by Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC) to speak at the hearing. Although nearly 50 DC residents protested Franks’ attempt to overstep DC's home rule, Rep. Franks believes that he knows what’s best for residents in the District of Columbia. Rep. Franks should concentrate on representing the interests of the second district of Arizona, not the District of Columbia.