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Legislators Put Government Between Women And Their Doctors With 20 Week Abortion Ban

(Image John Ted Daganato Flickr)

Last night, the US House voted 237-189 to approve HR 36, a bill to ban abortion after 20 weeks and to criminalize doctors with up to five years in prison for conducting the procedure.

Both Congressional Representatives from New Hampshire voted against the legislation that the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) strongly opposed, stating, the bill “attempts to ban abortions through medically unnecessary cutoff points.”

“This legislation is dangerous to the rights, health, and safety of American women,” said Congresswoman Carol Shea-Porter, “This bill attempts to put the government between women and their doctor based on inaccurate and unscientific claims. Pregnancy is usually a joyful time, but for some families it poses dangerous health risks and extremely difficult decisions that should be made between a woman, her doctor, and her loved ones, not politicians.”

“As an adoption attorney for 25 years, I understand that the decision to end a pregnancy is deeply personal and difficult and should be made in consultation with one’s family and doctor, not the government,” said Congresswoman Annie Kuster. “The fact of the matter is that abortions occurring after 20 weeks are exceedingly rare and this legislation would endanger women who are seeking such services for serious medical reasons. This bill is nothing more than an attempt to rollback women’s access to comprehensive reproductive services.”

ACOG added, “The clear consensus by leading medical groups is that a ban on abortion after 20 weeks would interfere with the physician-patient relationship at a time when women are in need of empathetic, respectful and evidence-based care. These medical decisions should be made solely by each individual woman in consultation with those she trusts the most, including her obstetrician-gynecologist – not politicians.”

Abortions after 20 weeks are extremely rare.  Planned Parenthood notes that 99% of all abortions occur before the 21st week. Late term pregnancy complications such as severe fetal anomalies, pose a serious risk to the health of the mother and create a very complex situation.

In an online post, Planned Parenthood called the legislation,  “dangerous” and “out-of-touch” saying it is “nothing more than yet another attempt to restrict women’s access to safe, legal abortion.”  They also note that attacking women’s reproductive rights and banning abortion after 20 weeks is not what the American people want, regardless of party affiliation.

Image from Planned Parenthood (link)

Ilyse Hogue, President of NARAL Pro-Choice America says that politicians should not be interfering between a woman and her doctor.

“Abortion after twenty weeks of pregnancy is rare and almost always medically complicated. There is no place in these conversations for politicians pursuing an ideological agenda with no knowledge of the medical specifics of each case. Women making these difficult decisions need medical professionals, not tone deaf legislation.”

In their statement after HR36’s passage, The National Council of Jewish Women (NCJW) said,”The bill as passed attacks women’s moral and religious autonomy and handcuffs doctors under the threat of imprisonment from practicing medicine in their patients’ best interest…HR 36 seeks to intimidate medical professionals by criminalizing care — threatening up to five years in federal prison if the law is somehow violated.”

“The House bill is not a sincere effort to protect women but is rather yet another battle in the campaign to dismantle abortions rights — a campaign that has lasted nearly 45 years since Roe v. Wade, the year that the Supreme Court affirmed a woman’s right to choose abortion. If the bill becomes law, it would certainly have a chilling effect on the provision of abortion care in the US, which is exactly what its extreme, anti-abortion supporters intend,” NCJW concluded.

President Trump, who claimed to be pro-choice prior to running for President, said he would sign this legislation.

Ayotte Backs Away From Trump But Critics Still Blast Her For Ever Supporting Him

It is official. After a whirlwind day of statements and calls for Ayotte to disavow Donald Trump following his lewd offensive comments about women were released by the Washington Post, Ayotte has finally said she will not vote for Donald Trump.

However Ayotte’s delay in removing her “support” for Donald Trump drew a lot of criticism.

Governor Maggie Hassan, the Democratic candidate for US Senate was the first to criticize Ayotte’s backtracking on Trump.

“Kelly Ayotte today simply reinforced that everything she does is based on cold, political calculations about what is in her personal best interest. After spending 24 hours running the political math, Ayotte has made a decision that is a transparent, craven attempt at political self-preservation.  For months, Kelly Ayotte stood by Trump as he demeaned women, minorities, people with disabilities, Gold Star families, and was deemed a danger to our national security, even going so far as saying he should ‘absolutely’ be a role model for children. What Kelly Ayotte doesn’t seem to understand is the chance to show courage has long past, and her hollow words today reveal as much about her own character as they do Donald Trump’s. Her words are far too little and far too late.” 

Maggie for NH also released a new version of their wildly popular “absolutely” video.

This new ad will be part of Maggie for NH’s efforts to continue to hold Ayotte accountable for her craven political calculation to stand by Donald Trump for months, including her statement on Monday that Trump should “absolutely” be a role model for children.

“Try as she might, Kelly Ayotte cannot run from the fact that she stood by Donald Trump’s anti-woman and dangerous campaign for months, even saying less than a week ago that Trump should ‘absolutely’ be a role model for children,” said Maggie for NH Press Secretary Meira Bernstein. “Ayotte long ago missed her opportunity to show courage, and Granite Staters will not be fooled by her craven political calculation to try to save her Senate seat.” 

“Kelly Ayotte’s statement today is a cowardly calculation and desperate attempt to save her own skin after she determined supporting Trump would no longer be politically survivable,” said NHDP Press Secretary Melissa Miller. “Speaking out against Trump only now and only after intense political pressure tacitly approves of all of the vile and disgusting things he has said and done before yesterday. Mocking a reporter with a disability, fat shaming women and attacking a Gold Star mother were not disqualifying to Kelly Ayotte. The only disqualification she recognizes is Trump’s damage to her own electoral odds.”

“Kelly Ayotte’s cowardly pivot today is too little too late. New Hampshire voters have seen her for the callous and calculating politician she is and will reject her for it in one month,” added Miller.

Throughout the election, Ayotte has faced harsh criticism for her votes on women’s health issues and Planned Parenthood.

“By throwing her support to Mike Pence, Ayotte is doubling down on the same extreme anti-women agenda that voters despise about Trump,” continued Miller. “Not only did Ayotte and Pence work together in Congress on a bill to allow hospitals to deny lifesaving medical care to women and efforts to defund Planned Parenthood, but Pence has actually said that working mothers emotionally stunt their children and as Governor of Indiana has signed some of the most anti-choice and anti-women’s health legislation in the country into law.” 

“Kelly Ayotte may be in full panic mode, but trading a candidate who boasts about attacks on women for someone who legislates them is cowardice, not courage,” said Dawn Laguens, head of Planned Parenthood Votes.  “Ayotte supported Trump as he made numerous offensive statements, and as he advocated legislation that would strip away women’s health and rights. Now she’s saying she’ll support Mike Pence, who has made a career out of attacking women’s health and rights. Kelly Ayotte can’t fool us, and she can’t fool voters: They both have spent their careers blocking access to women’s health care. This move is too little, too late.”

“Women in New Hampshire should not be fooled by Kelly Ayotte’s last-ditch effort to distance herself from Donald Trump,” said EMILY’s List President Stephanie Schriock. “She spent months standing by Donald Trump as he body shamed women, called them ‘fat pigs’ and ‘dogs,’ said that Mexicans were ‘criminals’ and ‘rapists,’ and said there should be ‘some form of punishment’ for women who have abortions. She even went so far as to say that Trump ‘absolutely’ is a role model.”  

“Kelly Ayotte knows that New Hampshire women won’t stand by a candidate who demeans women every chance he gets, and they won’t stand by a senator who agrees with Trump that Planned Parenthood should be defunded and wants to overturn Roe v. Wade. This move by Ayotte is completely political, and a blatant attempt to salvage her reelection bid in November,” added Schriock. 

“Republican leaders have nowhere to hide and nobody but themselves to blame for the situation they are in,” said NARAL Pro-Choice America President Ilyse Hogue. “Their flailing attempts to save their own political careers is the natural conclusion of a party that has spent decades telling women that it knew what was best for our bodies and our families. Be it Donald Trump, Mike Pence, or whichever anti-choice leader they end up favoring, they will still be pushing the same misogynistic agenda under different packaging.”

“After enabling Trump’s rise and pushing the same misogynistic agenda, the crass attempt by Sen. Ayotte, Congressman Heck, and other GOP leaders to save their own political careers with last-ditch denunciations is too little, too late. Standing up to a bully only when it suits your political interests isn’t courageous, it’s cowardly, and voters will hold them accountable,” added Hogue. 

National grassroots activism organization, MoveOn.Org also launched a new online ad targeting conservative Christian women in New Hampshire, urging them to vote for Clinton and Hassan.

“After more than a year of his unacceptable and indefensible remarks and behavior, Kelly Ayotte and other Republicans leaders continued to set aside their morals and stand beside Trump, enabling his campaign of bigotry, hatred, and sexism,” said Ilya Sheyman, executive director of MoveOn.org Political Action. “Enough is enough. Ayotte and the Republican Party have paved the way, and cheered along, as Trump relentlessly attacked women, veterans, Gold Star families, immigrants, people of color, people with disabilities, and other communities. Anything that Ayotte and other Republican leaders who backed Trump say now is too little, too late. Americans will reject Trump, and those who’ve stood with him, on November 8.”

 

Ayotte should have never connected herself with Donald Trump in any way. She should have rejected him from the beginning.  They always say, “hindsight is 20/20.”

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