House to vote on abortion ban

In an effort to placate the most extreme contingent of the GOP base, today the U.S. House of Representatives is expected to vote on an anti-choice abortion ban. We were heartened when Republicans spoke out against this extreme legislation earlier this year, tabling it because of its offensive treatment of victims of sexual assault. But now, as House members tout a quick “fix” – we find ourselves back on the merry-go-round again.

The original bill included an exception for victims of rape and incest ONLY if they had previously reported their assault to authorities.  In response to the recent controversy, adult rape survivors now must either report the crime or seek medical care and counseling at least 48 hours prior to receiving an abortion. However, minors are still required to report their assault and thus may face unnecessary barriers to time-sensitive care. With the majority of rapes going unreported in the U.S., such intrusive and medically unnecessary restrictions only do more harm to those who have already survived traumatic assault.

Similar legislation has already been found unconstitutional at the state level, and the Senate is unlikely to take up this measure. In other words, this effort to placate single-issue elected leaders is likely to do little but waste taxpayers’ time and dollars. It’s time to put a stop to this pernicious effort. If lawmakers really want to reduce the need for abortion nationwide, the answer is not intrusive medical mandates and onerous restrictions. It’s time to talk about what we know works: prevention and planning.

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