The White House criticized House Republicans on May 13 for supporting legislation that would ban abortions after the 20th week of pregnancy, referring to the legislation as “disgraceful.”
The legislation does not stand a chance of becoming law, even if the U.S. House were to approve it. The Senate would need a 60-vote filibuster proof majority, which is unlikely. President Barack Obama and his administration have already signaled their disappointment and dissatisfaction with the legislation, indicating the president would veto the bill.
Originally, the law compelled rape victims to report their cases to authorities, but that section has since been removed. Now, the legislation states abortion providers must make sure victims have easy access to counseling and medical care, The Washington Times reported.
White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest left no doubt on May 13 when he spoke of the president’s intentions on the bill, should he have to act on it.
“The bill continues to add harsh burdens to the survivors of sexual assault, rape and incest, who are already enduring unimaginable hardship … it’s disgraceful,” Earnest said to reporters.
The legislation passed along party lines, by a vote of 242-184. Speaking on the legislation, Republican House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio praised his chamber’s actions.
Boehner called the bill “the most pro-life legislation to ever come before this body. We should all be proud to take this stand today.”
The legislation, formally titled the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, was moderated several times to appease women and moderates in the Republican Party, who disapproved of the initial draft of the bill.
“This has a much less punitive substance to it. It’s important that when we look at the care of women who are in crisis, that we make sure they’re totally taken care of,” Indiana Republican Rep. Jackie Walorski said.
Dissenters felt quite differently, as expected. Democratic Rep. Lois Frankel of Florida said “You want to talk about pain? Let’s talk about the agony of a woman who’s raped and again violated by unnecessary government intrusion.”
Currently, 42 states have bans on abortions after a certain point in a pregnancy, with 10 of those states banning abortions at the 20th week of the pregnancy, Fox News reported.
Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons