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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.

Emily’s List Puts NH Congressman Frank Guinta “On Notice”

Image from Emily's List http://republicansonnotice.tumblr.com/

Image from Emily’s List http://republicansonnotice.tumblr.com/

In addition to being one of the most corrupt members of Congress, Frank Guinta is also one of the worst when it comes to supporting policies that are dangerous to women and families.

Here are six reasons why EMILY’s List is putting Congressman Frank Guinta “On Notice”:

  1. Guinta Supported an Abortion Ban. In May 2015, Guinta voted for a bill that would prohibit abortions in cases where the probable age of the fetus is 20 weeks or later and would impose criminal penalties on doctors who violate the ban. It would provide exceptions for cases in which the woman’s life is in danger as well as for pregnancies that are a result of rape if, as amended, for pregnancies that are a result of rape against an adult woman, the woman received counseling or medical treatment for the rape at least 48 hours prior to the abortion. An exception would be provided for pregnancies resulting from rape or incest against a minor if the rape or incest had been previously reported to law enforcement or another government agency authorized to act on reports of child abuse. [HR 36, Vote #223, 5/13/15;CQ Floor Votes]
  2. Guinta Supported Ban of Abortion with “No Exceptions.” “In response to two questions on abortion, Guinta said he is pro-life, and, were a repeal to Roe v. Wade come up while he was serving in Congress, he would vote for a no-holds barred ban on abortion with ‘no exceptions.’” [Foster’s Daily Democrat, 8/11/10]
  3. Guinta Cosponsored Legislation That Would Allow Employers to Deny Birth Control Coverage. In February 2012, Guinta cosponsored the Respect for Rights of Conscience Act, which would “permit a health plan to decline coverage of specific items and services that are contrary to the religious beliefs of the sponsor, issuer, or other entity offering the plan or the purchaser or beneficiary.” [HR 1179, 2/08/12]
  4. Guinta Found Guilty of Violating Campaign Finance Laws by the FEC, Fined $15,000. “After five years of denying allegations of wrongdoing related to his 2010 campaign, Guinta was found by the Federal Election Commission to have violated campaign finance laws by accepting $355,000 in illegal contributions from his parents. The two-term congressman, who was defeated in 2012 but narrowly beat Democratic Rep. Carol Shea-Porter in 2014, has said the money he used for his first campaign was also his, though disclosure forms suggested he didn’t have the money. Guinta maintained he made a reporting error and did nothing illegal. Now, he must refund the six-figure sum to his parents, and pay a $15,000 fine.” [Roll Call, 5/18/15]
  5. Guinta Voted Multiple Times Against Raising the State Minimum Wage in New Hampshire. During his time in the New Hampshire state House, Guinta voted multiple times against raising the state’s minimum wage. In April 2001, Guinta voted against a bill that would have increased New Hampshire’s minimum wage. The bill increased the minimum wage from $5.15 per hour to $5.65 as of October 1, 2001. It then increased the wage to $6.15 on October 1, 2002. Guinta’s vote was in favor of a report by the Labor Committee declaring the bill ‘inexpedient to legislate,’ effectively killing the bill. The report killing the bill passed 170-163. A motion was made to again declare the bill ‘inexpedient to legislate,’ effectively killing the wage increase. Guinta voted in favor of the motion to kill the bill, which failed 166-184. Finally, a motion was made to approve the bill. Guinta voted against the bill, which passed 196-153. [HB 469, Vote #92, 4/26/01;HB 469, Vote #117, 5/17/01; HB 469, Vote #118, 5/17/01]
  6. Guinta Named One of CREW’s Most Corrupt Members of Congress in 2010. “Most Corrupt: Representative Frank Guinta. Representative Frank Guinta (R-NH) is a first-term member of Congress, representing New Hampshire’s 1stcongressional district. Rep. Guinta’s ethics issues stem from his failure to accurately disclose assets on his personal financial disclosure forms and possibly accepting improper gifts or loans.” [CREW, 2010]


EMILY’s List Puts New Hampshire Senator Kelly Ayotte “On Notice”

Kelly Ayotte

Image from Emily’s List http://republicansonnotice.tumblr.com/

WASHINGTON D.C. – EMILY’s List, the nation’s largest resource for women in politics, put New Hampshire Senator Kelly Ayotte “On Notice” for 2016. “On Notice” is a list of incumbent Republicans at all levels of government who will be held accountable for their anti-woman, anti-family records in the 2016 elections. 

“Senator Kelly Ayotte has proven time and again that her extreme Republican colleagues can depend on her to help them advance their anti-woman agenda and to stand with them in the way of policies that give working families a fair shot,” said Stephanie Schriock, president of EMILY’s List. “No matter how much Senator Ayotte tries to whitewash her record, there’s no escaping the fact that she opposes raising the minimum wage, refused to support paid leave for working families, voted against the Paycheck Fairness Act four times, cosponsored and voted for legislation to defund Planned Parenthood, and introduced legislation that would make affordable birth control less accessible even for women with health insurance. Senator Ayotte is a staunch supporter of policies that are downright dangerous for women and families in New Hampshire and across the country, and that’s why EMILY’s List is putting her ‘On Notice.’”

Sen. Ayotte’s Record:

Introduced GAP Act, Which Would Not Strengthen Equal Pay Laws and Weaken Protections for Employees. “And then, just for kitten-heel kicks, she and some of her fellow lady Republicans introduced their own adorable ‘Equal Pay’ bill, which wouldn’t actually strengthen equal pay laws so much as weaken them by creating extra loopholes for employers. It’s like the same thing, only different.” [Wonkette, 10/15/15] 

(1) Voted Against the Paycheck Fairness Act. In June 2012, Ayotte voted against a procedural vote to move forward with S. 3220, Paycheck Fairness Act, a bill that would amend the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 (also known as the Equal Pay Act), “to revise remedies for, enforcement of, and exceptions to prohibitions against sex discrimination in the payment of wages.” The Paycheck Fairness Act would require a clarification in reasons for differences in wages paid to men and women doing the same work. The motion was rejected 52-47. [S. 3220, Vote #115, 6/05/12] 

(2) Again…Voted against the Paycheck Fairness Act. In April 2014, Ayotte voted against a motion to address the Paycheck Fairness Act. According to Congressional Quarterly the vote was a “Motion to invoke cloture (thus limiting debate) on the Reid, D-Nev., motion to proceed to the bill that would require employers to demonstrate that wage gaps between men and women with similar qualifications and in similar jobs have a business justification. It would prohibit employers from retaliating against employees who share salary information and authorize the Labor secretary to seek additional compensatory or punitive damages in a sex discrimination action. The bill also would require the Labor Department to provide training and collect wage information.” The motion was rejected by a vote of 53-44. [S 2199, Vote #103, 4/09/14]

(3) And again…Voted against the Paycheck Fairness Act. In September 2014, Ayotte voted against a bill to strengthen federal equal pay laws for women. [S. 2199, Vote #262, 9/15/14]                                                       

(4) And again. In March 2015, Ayotte voted against Senator Mikulski’s proposal to “establish a deficit-neutral reserve fund relating to amending the Equal Pay Act of 1963 to allow for punitive damages, limit the any factor ‘other than sex’ exception, and prohibit retaliation against employees who share salary information.” The amendment failed 45-54. [S. Con. Res. 11, Vote #82, 3/24/15] 

Voted for Blunt Amendment, Extreme Legislation Allowing Employers to Deny Health Care Coverage for Moral or Religious Reasons. In March 2012, Ayotte voted against tabling S. Amdt. 1520, also known as the Blunt amendment. The amendment would amend the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act to “protect the rights of conscious with regard to requirements for specific items and services.” In other words, employers would be able to deny health care coverage for moral or religious objections. The amendment was attached to S. 1813, MAP-21, a transportation reauthorization bill. The motion passed 51-48. [S. Amdt. 1520 to S. 1813, Vote #24, 3/01/12] 

Cosponsored and Voted for a Bill to Defund Planned Parenthood. In July 2015, Ayotte signed onto a bill to end federal funding to Planned Parenthood. In August 2015, she voted for the defunding measure. The motion to proceed did not pass 53-46. [S. 1881, Vote #262, 8/03/15; Cosponsored 7/29/15] 

Ayotte Argued That Roe v. Wade Should Be Overturned. According to the Nashua Telegraph, “Ayotte said the landmark Supreme Court decision Roe v. Wade that legalized abortion should be overturned, but states should regulate abortion rather than adopt a constitutional change.” [Nashua Telegraph8/20/10] 

Voted for a National Abortion Ban. In September 2015, Ayotte voted for a bill that would prohibit abortions in cases where the probable age of the fetus is 20 weeks or later and would impose criminal penalties on doctors who violate the ban. It would provide exceptions for cases in which the woman’s life is in danger as well as for pregnancies that are a result of rape if, as amended, for pregnancies that are a result of rape against an adult woman, the woman received counseling or medical treatment for the rape at least 48 hours prior to the abortion. An exception would be provided for pregnancies resulting from rape or incest against a minor if the rape or incest had been previously reported to law enforcement or another government agency authorized to act on reports of child abuse. [HR 36, Vote #268, 9/22/15] 

In 2010, Ayotte Opposed Employers Offering Paid Sick Leave to Workers. According to the Nashua Telegraph, “Hodes endorsed raising the minimum wage to include increases in cost-of-living, giving unions the option of organizing by collecting names of supporters rather than through a secret ballot vote and mandating employers offer paid sick leave to their workers. Ayotte opposed all three proposed changes in federal labor laws.” [Nashua Telegraph, 9/23/10]

2014: Ayotte Voted Against Bill to Increase the Federal Minimum Wage To $10.10. [S. 2223, Vote #117, 4/30/14] 

  • Increasing the Federal Minimum Wage to $10.10 Would Have Meant a Raise for More than 100k Workers in New Hampshire. Increasing the federal minimum wage to $10.10 would mean a raise for 113,000 New Hampshire workers. [Economic Policy Institute12/19/13]

2015: Ayotte Voted Against an Increase in the Minimum Wage. [S.Amdt. 881 to S.Con.Res. 11, Vote #93, 3/26/15] 

The “On Notice” list can be found at http://republicansonnotice.tumblr.com and EMILY’s List will be communicating about those on the list to its network of over three million members nationwide. “On Notice” will continue to be updated throughout the election cycle and will feature incumbents at all levels of government who have exhibited extreme anti-woman and anti-family positions through statements, policy, and voting records. 

EMILY’s List, the nation’s largest resource for women in politics, has raised over $400 million to support pro-choice Democratic women candidates – making it one of the most successful political organizations ever. We recruit and train candidates, support strong campaigns, research women’s issues, and turn out women voters. We’ve trained over 9,000 women to run and helped elect over 100 women to the House, 19 to the Senate, 11 governors, and over 700 to state and local office. Since its founding in 1985, almost one-third of the candidates EMILY’s List has helped elect to Congress have been women of color – including every single Latina, African American, and Asian American Democratic congresswoman currently serving.

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