The White House is threatening to veto a Republican-backed bill to ban abortions after 20 weeks, arguing the measure is an "assault on a woman's right to choose."
The House vote on the "Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act" is planned Thursday, the anniversary of the landmark Supreme Court abortion decision in Roe vs. Wade —
and the same day of a scheduled anti-abortion March for Life, The Hill reports.
"Not only is the basis for H.R. 36 scientifically disputed, the bill disregards women's health and rights, the role doctors play in their patients' health care decisions, and the Constitution," the White House said in a statement.
"The administration strongly opposes H.R. 36, which would unacceptably restrict women's health and reproductive rights and is an assault on a woman's right to choose. Women should be able to make their own choices about their bodies and their health care, and government should not inject itself into decisions best made between a woman and her doctor."
The National Journal notes
Republican themselves are divided on the bill sponsored by Arizona Republican Rep. Trent Franks.
At the party's retreat last week, North Carolina Republican Rep. Renee Ellmers urged the leadership not to bring up the bill this week, telling the National Journal
the caucus needs "to be smart about how we're moving forward."
Republicans last tried to move the bill in 2013, when the White House also threatened to veto it, The Hill notes. But this time, the White house laid out another concern with the legislation.
Under the bill, rape survivors would have to report the crime to police before receiving an abortion —
a requirement the White House says "demonstrates a complete disregard for the women who experience sexual assault and the barriers they may face in reporting," The Hill reports.
The rape reporting mandate has riled both Republicans and Democrats, The Hill reports, but anti-abortion advocates have lobbied lawmakers hard, arguing this year might be the best chance at new federal restrictions in years, The Hill reports.
A report from the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office predicted the bill could cost as much as a half-billion dollars in new Medicaid spending, The Hill reports.
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