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WASHINGTON — The U.S. House of Representatives today passed the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, which would ban all abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy. The White House has threatened to veto the legislation.
"A woman shouldn't be denied basic health care or the ability to make the best decision for her family just because some members of Congress want to impose their political views on her decision," said Laura W. Murphy, director of the American Civil Liberties Union Washington Legislative Office. "Today's vote is part of a wave of ever-more extreme legislation in the states and in Congress that interferes with a woman's ability to make personal and private medical decisions. This ban shamefully plays politics with women's health and has no place in our laws."
The federal ban came under fire last week when Rep. Trent Franks (R-Ariz.) asserted that "the incidence of rape resulting in pregnancy are very low" during debate on the bill. Franks is an original sponsor of the bill.
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit recently struck down a similar Arizona law that would ban almost all abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy. The law was challenged by the ACLU, the ACLU of Arizona, and the Center for Reproductive Rights on behalf of three physicians and their patients.