Rep. Trent Franks plays politics far from home with unconstitutional abortion ban
(PRESS RELEASE) For the second congressional session in a row, today Rep. Trent Franks (R-Ariz.) introduced federal legislation to restrict access to safe, legal reproductive health services in the District of Columbia, proposing a ban on all abortions performed after 20 weeks’ gestation. Said Julianna Gonen, director of government relations at the Center for Reproductive Rights: “Every woman faces different circumstances in her pregnancy and it is her constitutionally protected right to make whatever decision is best for her health, her future, and her family. “With this bill, Rep. Franks continues his relentless campaign to callously brush aside the fundamental reproductive rights of women not just in his own district, but of those living thousands of miles away in D.C.” The U.S. Supreme Court has consistently held that states cannot ban abortion before viability. The court has also found that any restrictions on abortion must include an exception for when an abortion is “necessary, in appropriate medical judgment, for the preservation of the life or health” of a woman. Following a lawsuit filed by the Center and the ACLU, a similar ban passed in Franks’ home state of Arizona was blocked by the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. Franks has clearly made unconstitutional bans on abortion a top legislative priority—also recently re-introducing the so-called “Prenatal Nondiscrimination Act,” a bill that would ban abortions on the basis of sex or race nationwide.