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Representative Trent Franks Renews His Attacks on Abortion Rights

June 4, 2013

Catholics have denounced a new attack on abortion rights after Representative Trent Franks (R-AZ) reintroduced a bill to ban later abortions. Modeled after one from his home state that has already been declared unconstitutional, HR 1797 would ban abortions after 20 weeks gestation. Originally directed only at women living in Washington, DC, the Arizona congressman amended the bill at a hearing today to extend the ban to all women in the United States without exceptions for rape, incest, health endangerment or fetal abnormalities.

Jon O’Brien, president of Catholics for Choice, said, “This bill is Representative Franks’ attempt to export a failed Arizona law—which the courts just overturned for being unconstitutional—to the entire country. It relies on junk science to impose an arbitrary gestational limit on when a woman can have an abortion and would allow antichoice legislators in Congress—not the women, doctors and families directly involved in each pregnancy—to decide when women can access abortion services.

“As Catholics, we trust women to follow their own consciences when making moral decisions about their pregnancies. The majority of the more than 68 million Catholics in the United States support access to safe, legal abortion. Catholics know that women must be allowed to make the right decision for themselves and their families. We have a responsibility to stand with each and every woman who seeks to make decisions about her own reproductive life and we take that responsibility seriously. This bill is bad policy, bad science and bad for women.”