WASHINGTON — An Arizona congressman has reintroduced a bill that would ban
abortions in the District of Columbia after 20 weeks of pregnancy.
The bill, introduced by Republican Rep. Trent Franks, is a top priority of anti-abortion groups, and 11 states have passed
similar legislation. It’s based on the disputed claim that fetuses can feel pain
at a gestational age of 20 weeks or older.
The Republican-led House voted in favor of the measure last year, but it was
considered under special rules and did not proceed to the Senate.
Franks said it takes
on new urgency after revelations from the trial of Kermit Gosnell, a
Philadelphia abortion doctor charged with killing babies after they were born
alive. The District of Columbia has no criminal laws restricting abortion.