House passes late term abortion ban
June 18th, 2013
07:02 PM ET
10 years ago

House passes late term abortion ban

Washington (CNN) - The House of Representatives Tuesday passed a GOP-sponsored bill banning so- called "late term abortions" - procedures for women who are beyond 20 weeks into their pregnancy. The vote was 228-196, mostly along party lines.

The bill’s sponsor, Republican Rep. Trent Franks, R-Arizona, stirred up controversy last week when he opposed an effort by House Democrats to add an exception for women who are raped, arguing that "the incidents of rape resulting in pregnancy are very low."

House Democrats seized on the comment, and because of the backlash GOP leaders later decided to add new language to the bill allowing women who get pregnant as a result of rape or incest to obtain an abortion if they report the crime to authorities.

The White House has threatened a veto on the legislation, but the Democratic-led Senate is not expected to take up the measure.

Filed under: Abortion • House of Representatives
soundoff (276 Responses)
  1. Robert Harris

    tThough I lean pretty far left on most matters, most of that comes from my belief on individual rights and I believe the right of a child to live supersedes the rights of a mother to control her body. There is, in my mind, room for discussion as to when life actually begins but I’m comfortable with the idea of banning abortions after 20-weeks with certain possible exceptions regarding risk to the mother’s life.

    Having said that, I’m curious where most people on the right stand on the issue of abortions in the case of rape. As noted above, GOP leaders decided to add new language to the bill allowing women who get pregnant as a result of rape or incest to obtain an abortion if they report the crime to authorities.

    So here is my question ( this is not meant to be insulting or argumentative…I’m trying to understand myself). If an individual finds life to be divine and god-given thus making abortion abhorrent, why does that change in the case of rape? We are still talking about taking the life of an innocent child. Obviously if a child was BORN as the result of rape, that child would have all the rights and protections of any other person born in our country. So if a child in the womb is thought to have the same rights as a person born, why wouldn’t they too be protected even in cases of rape? Isn't it still a god-given life?

    I can understand a person’s belief in a right to abortion even if I disagree with it…I certainly can understand a person’s belief that all life is precious from the moment of conception or that life should be protected from some moment between conception and birth (e.g. protect life from the moment there is brain activity, a heart beat, or the fetus is potentially viable). But I can’t understand the idea that all life is precious unless conceived in rape in which case murdering it is fine.


    June 19, 2013 09:27 am at 9:27 am |
  2. Randy, San Francisco

    Nothing has changed. Rebranding of the Republican Party is a sham. The war against women continues.

    June 19, 2013 09:35 am at 9:35 am |
  3. Patrick

    I have yet to see a US law that says a woman can not get an abortion at any point in the pregnancy if that pregnancy is putting her life at risk. Late term abortions are usually the case of the mother not knowing she was pregnant or the reality of being a parent starts to set in. The reality is usually the costs of raising a child. Many people want to have all the fun but none of the costs. If that is the case then takes every step possible to have your fun and not get pregnant in the first place.

    June 19, 2013 09:40 am at 9:40 am |
  4. Annabelle

    Robert Harris –
    In response to your post: I was raped several years ago, and became pregnant as a result. Abortion was never an option for me as I did not believe my child should have to pay for his father's crime with his life, but also this child was biologically half me. I went through a very dark time, and in all honesty the responsibilities of motherhood (even before I thought I was ready) and deep love for this growing child kept me going. I had zero support from my family, was ridiculed for my decision, and had several long, tough years. But in the end, my parents came to love and accept their grandchild, and though the road has been rocky, I would not trade my child for anything.

    June 19, 2013 09:50 am at 9:50 am |
  5. Darrell

    So this is what the Republicant's are wasting our tax dollars on yet again? Why is no one stomping a mud hole in thier butt? Just like the new Health car law which they have tried to stop 38 times, this is symbolic and they think they have the President on the ropes with the survellence, crap. People this is Carl Rove all over again trying to get you to not think about what they are not doing. Don't you see this crap? What bills for Americans have they passed? Everytime the President or the Senate tries to do the peoples work they fillabuster more than anytime in history by the way. This is so so sad, and you wonder why nothing is getting done? Want more jobs follow the President and pass the bill that would get America back to work on fixing roads, bridges, highways. Don't keep falling for these Carl Rove tactics. GOOD LORD, WAKE UP PEOPLE!!

    June 19, 2013 10:00 am at 10:00 am |
  6. MaryM

    House republicans, remember Jobs, Jobs, Jobs? I guess this is what you meant, Jbortion!

    June 19, 2013 10:02 am at 10:02 am |
  7. Al-NY,NY

    pandering to the zealots....pure and simple. While wasting millions of $. If the GOP took all the $ they've wasted over trying to repeal Obamacare and outlaw abortions, there'd be a huge chunk of change in the coffers. But that doesn't matter because they need to make sure the thumpers get their red-meat while screaming about "waste"

    June 19, 2013 10:05 am at 10:05 am |
  8. DMG2FUn

    Get over it. Like the leftist aka progressive socialist chant. All rights have limits.

    June 19, 2013 10:08 am at 10:08 am |
  9. M.A.P.

    I hope there are many outraged people and especially WOMEN who will make the GOP listen to them. This is crazy, the Republicans have got to learn their lesson. How many times can they lose an election before they realise they represent a MINORITY of loud angry old white men who are still wrapped up in the ideology from 50 years ago. They do not represent the future or progression. I'm red with anger right now. I will make it my personal mission to convert at least one Republican before the primaries.

    June 19, 2013 10:19 am at 10:19 am |
  10. jboh

    OK, now that TEA/GOP passed another anti-choice bill, they can pass another Obamacare repeal bill. What happened to JOBS JOBS JOBS? All we've gotten is voter suppression, personhood nonsense, and union busting. This is by far the worst congress in my memory. I hope sensible folks remember that sitting out 2010 election made this possible. Don't make the same mistake in 2014. The TEA/GOP fanatics will vote, and if you don't the USA loses.

    June 19, 2013 10:30 am at 10:30 am |
  11. Craig Chilton

    To Miles - Mere RPEs (reproductive-process entities) aren't "children" any more than acorns are oak trees. But girls and women are PEOPLE - and forced gestation is a very real, 9-month-long-form of rape! Thank heaven for Roe vs. Wade, and the wisdom of the 1973 US Supreme Court!

    June 19, 2013 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  12. NYNJCT

    I I deliveries my baby 27 weeks with 2.5 lbs. Now she is a beautiful and healthy 27 Month girl. IT DOESN'T MAKE SENSES THAT OBAMA has threatened a veto on the legislation even though he wants to save 11,000,000 illegal immigrants including some people who have been involved in criminal, drug, gang, broken rules, and steal others ID and so on. I hope and pray that the bill, late term abortions ban will pass Democratic-led Senate and the White House. GOD BLESS ALL AMERICAN INCLUDING ALL FETUSES.

    June 19, 2013 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  13. rs

    I wonder how many people have the courage to even Google "partial birth abortion" and look at drawings – not even photos – of how it's performed. Read about it, then comment on the bogus smokescreen of "preserving a woman's right to choose.
    I wonder how many like the writer above have ever seen the devistation of rape? These idiots proclaim that only a few women get pregnant because of rape. Last year it was about 35%- or 25,000 American women. Given that we know only about a third of rapes are reported that means the number of pregnancies are significantly higher.

    The GOP response? Punish the women. Subject then to mean vaginal probe ultrasound laws; make them file police reports (even if they themselves are kids); Maker her bear her rapists child, and be sure he gets visitation rights. Cruelty beyond reason. Meanwhile: defund sex education programs, do away with Planned Parenthood (where most poor women get health creening); do away with government programs for single parents. Make it as hard as possible says the GOP because they want to control women, take away their rights and blame them for the crime.

    The GOP is so sick, I hardly recognize it anymore. Fools like Akin, Mourdock and Franks proudly showing off their biological ignorance.

    Well, when a woman is treated this way by a policical partry, their body has a way of "shutting that down". They vote for Democratic candidates!

    June 19, 2013 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
  14. Jeff from Columbus

    Sorry Democrats but the majority of Americans agree with Republicans on this issue. The majority of Americans are pro life, especially when it comes to late term abortions.

    You can try to claim all you want that abortion is universally accepted but that's simply NOT the case. Its Obama, not Republicans, who is clearly out of step with the majority of Americans when it comes to abortion.

    June 19, 2013 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  15. rs

    If an individual finds life to be divine and god-given thus making abortion abhorrent, why does that change in the case of rape?
    I guess it is a point of orientation. If you are too ill-educated to grasp the biology at work in issues like reproduction, and you choose instead to believe such actions are attributable to a man in a sheet in the clods, then yes, what you say make s sense. But look at what you've done in the process: you've turned an equal member of humanity (in this case the raped woman) ito a mear vessel to hold the rapist's seed- which you apparently value higher. You assume women cannot make their own decisions, nor are trustworthy to do so. You are the Taliban.

    June 19, 2013 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  16. Dallas

    Ladies and Gentleman – For all our sakes, these 228 Republican/Tea Party bigots must be defeated in next years' election. If these fools are allowed to continue serving in Congress, it will be to the detriment of all of us. They are obstructionists pure and simple. This issue was settled years ago – Roe v. Wade, other SCOTUS decisions – drop it! Americans need jobs and you, the Congress, have done nothing! Do what you were elected to do, serve the people, or get the hell out.

    June 19, 2013 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  17. Sheila

    ""The White House has threatened a veto on the legislation, but the Democratic-led Senate is not expected to take up the measure""

    That's why the Senate isn't worried about it – b/c the white house is going to veto the bill.

    June 19, 2013 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
  18. Jeff from Columbus

    @Robert Harris: As for your question about rape and incest with regard to abortion, a lot of pro-life people don't think there should be an exception. Because, as you stated, its still a life no matter how the life was created.

    For other pro-lifers, they accept this exception only because they think that requiring a woman to carry a baby for 9 months that was conceived violently is unfair to the woman. They still consider it murder but are weighing that murder vs. putting a woman through the pain of 9 months of pregnancy knowing the whole time how the baby was conceived. Its a thoroughly horrible situation all around. Think of it in the same terms as a homeowner shooting an intruder. The death is horrible but acceptable under the circumstances. Same thing with abortion when a woman has been raped. The abortion is horrible but, again, acceptable under the circumstances.

    June 19, 2013 11:06 am at 11:06 am |
  19. Larry in Houston

    This should be totally up to the female individual, if she does, or doesn't want an abortion, period. Maybe one of these days, this will be a non-issue, once the voting public that is between the ages of 18 – 35, gets into their 50's & 60's & 70's. The country is changing, ever so drastically. And the GOP knows it, and by the time 2016 rolls around, they will be more aligned with being more moderate, otherwise they will end up losing elections. The radical right wingers are hurting the republicans, in a bad way. (hint: bachman among others)

    June 19, 2013 11:07 am at 11:07 am |
  20. Jeff from Columbus

    @Larry in Houston: Yes, the country is changing. Support for abortion is...going down. Now, most Americans identify themselves as pro-life.

    You can try to claim otherwise but facts are facts. Sorry if the truth hurts.

    June 19, 2013 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
  21. blackhawkmom

    Nothing better to do than try to control women? Men like Franks are pathetic. It will be a cold day ion h–l before I allow him or anyone else to tell me what I can and cannot do with my body. Franks – why don't you worry about the men in our society who have "relations" unprotected or outside of marriage? Feel sorry for your subservient wife and any daughters. GTH.

    June 19, 2013 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  22. Rosslaw

    I have to believe that the republican party is now drawing its legislative inspiriation from Iran. From this bill which will not pass, to the Blount amendment where male employers get to "question" female employees about their use of contraceptives and sex lives, to the invasive pre-abortion rape with a "medical" instrument legislated by republican legislators who have obviously been dying to live out some profoundly disturbing fantasies, the republicans are now synomymous with sharia law. Next-stoning for any woman who catches her husband committing adultory.

    June 19, 2013 11:45 am at 11:45 am |
  23. lottie

    the house should stop wasting time with repealing Obama care and abortion issues and start looking for ways to help the economy and the American people. They are so set on screwing women and the poor that they will do anything to pass their agenda. Vote all these clowns out. Forward. not back to the stone ages.

    June 19, 2013 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  24. Pander Bear

    Keep up with the stupidity GOP! It's a sure ticket to oblivion in 2016.

    June 19, 2013 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  25. lottie

    not everyone raped reports to the police . For many reasons. So this means no abortion for you if not reported. Stay out of our business repo turds. You only believe in small government when it effects what you want. This is no different than your precious 2nd amendment rights. The GOP has slowly been passing state laws that affect womens rights. Wake up people these trolls are not interested in what the majority want.

    June 19, 2013 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
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