The Council of the District of Columbia, employing authority delegated by Congress, repealed the entire D.C. abortion law. Thus, in the nation’s capital, abortion is currently legal for any reason through all nine months of pregnancy.
The bill, sponsored by Congressman Trent Franks, an Arizona Republican, was approved by the House Judiciary Committee In the bill, Congress adopts findings that by 20 weeks after fertilization (if not earlier), the unborn child has the capacity to experience great pain. (This is equivalent to 22 weeks in the alternate “LMP” or “weeks of pregnancy” dating system used by ob-gyns and abortion providers.) The bill prohibits abortion after that point, except when an acute physical condition endangers the life of the mother. Johnson says seven states have already enacted very similar legislation; no court orders have blocked enforcement of any of those laws.
The vote follows a new poll released by the National Right to Life Committee and commissioned by the Polling Company. The poll found 63% of all respondents, and 70% of women respondents, favor banning abortion after the point where the unborn child can feel pain. Another 58% of all respondents, and 62% of women respondents, would be more likely to vote for a Member of Congress who votes to ban abortion after 22 weeks gestation in the District of Columbia.
In addition to recent polling, banning abortion after 20 weeks was recently deemed constitutional by a federal judge in Arizona . U.S. District Judge James Teilborg cited the pain felt by unborn children in his justification for siding with the law passed by Arizona’s legislature. Given its general incompetence, it is tough to imagine DC's local government following Arizona's lead anytime soon.
This post was authored by Townhall.com editorial intern Kyle Bonnell