July 31, 2012 — The House leadership's decision to vote on a bill (HR 3803) that would ban abortion after 20 weeks of pregnancy in the District of Columbia shows "it thinks infringing on the authority of a local government to limit women's constitutional rights is no big deal," a Washington Post editorial states.
The House is scheduled to vote on the bill on Tuesday under a procedure called suspension of the rules "that is normally used for non-controversial things like naming post offices or honoring folks back home," the editorial notes. The use of the procedure suggests that supporters are "more interested in putting on a show to placate special interests than actually passing the measure," according to the editorial, which adds, "What gets lost in the gamesmanship are the lives that could be impacted."
The legislation is "a misuse of Congress's time and another cynical exploitation of the District to advance others' political agendas," according to the editorial. There is "little chance" that the Senate or President Obama would approve the measure, the editorial states, "[b]ut that won't stop the issue from being demagogued or used as a rallying point or an appeal for money in the upcoming presidential and other national elections" (Washington Post, 7/30).
Repro Health Watch — an exciting new edition of the Women’s Health Policy Report — compiles and distributes media coverage of proposed and enacted state laws and ballot initiatives affecting women's access to comprehensive reproductive health care, as well as litigation in response to those provisions.