Press Releases

Conyers: Republican Nationwide Abortion Ban is Both Dangerous and Unconstitutional

Washington, DC, June 18, 2013

Today, the U.S. House of Representatives considered H.R. 1797 the, “Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act,” on the House floor.  The legislation, which imposes a nationwide ban on abortions performed after 20 weeks, passed the House by a vote of 228 to 196.  Following the passage of this legislation, Congressman John Conyers, Jr. (D-Mich.) issued the following statement:

“Following multiple weeks of consideration, I am deeply disappointed that my Republican colleagues have pushed through an ideologically extreme bill that limits a woman’s constitutional right to make decisions about her health.”

“A nationwide ban on abortions performed after 20 weeks is unquestionably the most far-reaching and divisive women’s healthcare measure that the House has considered in years. While much has been made about the last minute inclusion of an exception for women who are the victims of rape or incest, this provision is very narrowly tailored and would only be available if the victim could demonstrate that she had reported the crime to the proper authorities.  This ‘reporting requirement’ is not only offensive, but it completely ignores the many reasons why rapes go unreported, including: fear of the abuser, fear of how the legal system may treat the victim, and shame. Indeed, this exception speaks to the manner in which the bill utterly disregards the often difficult personal circumstances that women face when confronted with the need to terminate their pregnancies.

“It is not enough to say that this is a seriously flawed bill.  Rather than address the myriad issues confronting our nation, from the jobs crisis to election reform, the overwhelmingly male Republican majority has opted to decide the legal rights of women.  To women across the country this legislation is more than just insulting, it is dangerous.”