Reps. Trent Franks (R-Ariz.) and Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) on Monday reintroduced a ban on abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy, which the GOP-controlled House already passed once in 2013. And Sen. David Vitter (R-La.) introduced four bills on Wednesday that would bar Planned Parenthood from receiving federal family planning funds, require all abortion providers to have admitting privileges at a local hospital, ban abortions performed on the basis of gender, and allow hospitals, doctors and nurses to refuse to provide or participate in abortion care for women, even in cases of emergency.
Planned Parenthood Action Fund President Cecile Richards condemned the onslaught of anti-abortion bills on Thursday and the attack on her own organization. “The public wants Congress to protect women’s health, not interfere in women’s personal medical decisions," she said in a statement, "which means making sure all forms of birth control are affordable, women can get preventive care at Planned Parenthood and other trusted providers, and abortion remains safe and legal."
Abortion rights advocates expressed frustration that Republicans are launching new attacks on abortion at a federal level after running as moderates on the issue in the 2014 midterm elections. "The Republican Congress is like Groundhog's Day," said Ilyse Hogue, president of NARAL Pro-Choice America. "Just as they did in 2010, anti-choice Republicans hid their agenda on the campaign trail by promising to work to address the economy or the numerous other issues.”
CMDA Senior Vice President Gene Rudd, MD: “Reporters need things to say and write about, so they ask lots of questions. Just today a reporter asked if I thought there would be a wave of abortion legislation in 2015. My response, ‘Of course; and in 2016 and onward.’ Sadly, I do not see this critical social issue resolved in 2015.
“The main thrust of the interview (and I assume the article being written) was to challenge the right of Congress to interfere with the patient-doctor relationship. Here are some of the thoughts I shared:
- Patients and doctors already have a myriad of laws and regulations governing the relationship.
- We might argue there are too many and some are not needed or inappropriate.
- But we cannot rationally argue that the patient-doctor relationship is outside the law.
- When a patient has an inflamed appendix, we have laws and regulations that say who may perform surgery and what standards must be met.
- Laws and regulations are even more important when a third life is involved.
- We don’t allow mothers to abuse or kill their born children, even if she and her doctor thought that would be best for her mental health.
- Laws that restrict abortion are simply society’s effort to decide how early in life we will bestow protection.
- While I favor protection from life’s beginning, for 2015, I will be pleased to see our society begin protecting life from 20 weeks gestation.
CMDA’s Abortion Ethics Statement
The Modern Implications of Abortion by John Patrick, MD
Visit our Freedom2Care legislative action website for easy-to-use forms to voice your values to your legislators.
URGENT ACTION: The US House of Representatives will vote on the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act during the March for Life this Thursday, Jan. 22. This bill will ban abortions after 20 weeks, when our own members and others have testified that developing babies have all the architecture needed to feel pain at intense levels. Click here to use our Freedom2Care pre-written, customizable form to urge your Representative to support this important bill.
To attend the March for Life, click here. Our VP for Govt. Relations will represent CMA on stage at this annual event that marks the Supreme Court’s 1973 Roe v. Wade abortion decision.