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Congress Uses Valuable Legislative Time To Pass Dead-End Abortion Ban, Good Work Guys

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> on April 30, 2015 in Washington, DC.Dear Republicans in the House of Representatives: we get it. You are just not that into reproductive health care, as your latest foray at banning abortion shows so very, very clearly. But like ‘fetch’, a sweeping abortion ban is just not happening. So can we please move on as a country?

Yesterday, the House of Representatives passed a party-lines vote on a bill that would make abortion illegal after 20 weeks’ gestation. (The bill’s even more controversial plan to require rape victims to report their assault to the police. Because nothing says “we care about women!” like forcing rape victims to navigate dealings with often-disdainful officers  and to potentially confront their attacker. Naturally!)

CNN reports that a ‘teary’ Speaker of the House John Boehner (when has Mr. Boehner ever not been teary? That’s nearly as ubiquitous a description for him as ‘orange’ is) spoke to the legislature over the bill’s passage about the “sanctity and dignity” of every child. Tears or no, though, the bill isn’t likely to get past both the more moderate Senate and the desk of the President, thanks to good old-fashioned veto power. But its persistence in one half of the national legislature is a depressing reminder of just how little these politicians understand the reasons for seeking a late-term abortion. People don’t seek to terminate their pregnancies at 20+ weeks because they’re too ditzy or lazy to take care of it on time; they do it because:

1. They only just found out at the 20-week anatomy scan that the fetus has a serious defect or abnormality; or

2. They were late in realizing they were pregnant because someone has been doing an absolutely stellar job making sure it’s as difficult as possible to access reproductive health care in this country; or

3. They’ve been trying to get an abortion since way before 20 weeks but haven’t been able to because they can’t afford miss work two days in a row between the mandatory counseling sessions/enforced waiting periods and the procedures itself, the closure of reproductive health clinics close to them, and all the other hoops put in place by a bunch of anti-health-care jerks.

None of these things are particularly difficult to understand, and yet here we are, with reproductive health care on the path to becoming less accessible, rather than more, as it should be. For every step we take forward as a country, we seem to shuffle backwards nearly as far. For every politician rhapsodizing about the “sanctity and dignity” of unborn children, it would be nice to have one or two who have some thoughts about the sanctity and dignity of living American women.

(Image: Mark Wilson / News / Getty)