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House Subcommittee Considers Banning Abortions at 6 Weeks

House Subcommittee Considers Banning Abortions at 6 Weeks
An anti-abortion demonstrator holds a sign and a flower while cheering during a rally, Tuesday, Jan. 19, 2016, at the Capitol in Olympia, Washington. (Ted S. Warren/AP)

By    |   Wednesday, 01 November 2017 01:47 PM

A House subcommittee will weigh a bill prohibiting doctors from performing an abortion on a fetus that has a heartbeat, which could occur as early as six weeks.

The bill, which is supported by 22 Texas Republicans, would criminalize abortions that take place after a heartbeat is detected, even those that result from rape or incest, unless the pregnancy would cause harm to the woman.

Doctors who perform an abortion after this period would be hit with a fine or a five-year prison sentence.

"Human life, beginning at the moment of conception, is sacred in all of its forms," Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa, wrote in a statement. "If a heartbeat is detected, the baby is protected."

Sasha Bruce, senior vice president of advocacy group NARAL Pro-Choice America, described the ban as "crazy."

The bill "applies to women who don't even know they're pregnant yet, intentionally preventing them from accessing care altogether," Bruce said in a statement to The Dallas Morning News.

"Instead of wasting taxpayer money pursuing ideas meant only to pander to their shrinking base, Congress should focus their attention on the numerous crises this country faces."

Planned Parenthood vice president of public policy and government affairs Dana Singiser described GOP leadership as "hell-bent" on restricting abortion.

"These bills place an undue burden on a woman's constitutional right to make the decision about if and when she has children," she said in a statement. "This attack on women's health and rights isn't just dangerous, it's extremely out-of-touch with what the majority of Americans want from their representatives."

Texas Alliance for Life executive director Joe Pojman expressed doubts about the bill's chances, telling the Morning News that "at the present time, there are not enough justices on the U.S. Supreme Court who would vote to uphold a law like this. It would certainly not sustain a challenge in federal court, and taxpayers would be forced to pay attorneys' fees to the abortion providers, which only makes us weaker and makes the abortion industry stronger."

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A House subcommittee will weigh a bill prohibiting doctors from performing an abortion on a fetus that has a heartbeat, which could occur as early as six weeks.
house, bill, abortion, ban
334
2017-47-01
Wednesday, 01 November 2017 01:47 PM
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