Rep. Eleanor Holmes Norton Blocked From Testifying on Anti-Abortion Bill for Her District

| by Michael Allen

A House Subcommittee staged a hearing on Thursday for a bill that would ban all abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy in the District of Colombia.

Committee chair Rep. Trent Franks (R-AZ), author of the bill, did not allow Rep. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC) to testify at the hearing, even though the bill affects her constituents.

Rep. Franks, who represents the Phoenix, Arizona area, stacked his hearing with anti-abortion speakers and labeled late-term abortions “the greatest human rights atrocity in the United States today.”

Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) slammed the Republicans for not allowing Norton to testify: “Never in my 20 years as a member of Congress have I seen a colleague treated so contemptuously."

This is actually the second time that Rep. Norton, was also not allowed to speak on an abortion issue. She called it “the denial of a common courtesy" and added: “The post-20-week D.C. abortion ban bill targets an entire group of individuals, women who live in the District of Columbia, and their constitutional rights.”

While federal funding for abortions is banned by law, individual states can decide whether their own tax dollars can pay for abortions.

Washington D.C. has been funding abortions since President Obama signed an executive order in January of 2010. However, the District of Colombia is unique in that is not a state and falls under the jurisdiction of Congress, which can intervene in D.C.’s affairs.