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June 18, 2013 / Press Releases

First Time Ever: House Passes Nationwide Ban on Abortion After 20 Weeks

June 18, 2013

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Washington, D.C. — NARAL Pro-Choice America President Ilyse Hogue sharply criticized anti-choice members of the House for passing an extreme anti-choice bill that would ban abortion at 20 weeks nationwide.

Distorting the lessons of convicted murderer Kermit Gosnell and seizing on the tragic circumstances of his victims, H.R.1797 would outlaw abortion care after 20 weeks, with only narrow and inadequate exceptions for survivors of rape and incest, and no exception at all to protect a woman’s health. The bill passed by a vote of 228-196.

“Despite the fact that seven out of 10 Americans continue to support Roe v. Wade, House leaders have shown how remarkably out of touch they are with the general public,” said Hogue. “Their relentless campaign to outlaw abortion will encourage more criminals like Kermit Gosnell. It’s also worth noting that only an embarrassing gaffe by the bill’s author forced the House leadership to include a narrow exception for survivors of rape and incest.”

Proponents of the bill in the Judiciary Committee rejected amendments to add full exceptions for survivors of rape and incest or to protect women’s health.

“This legislation is a giveaway for anti-choice groups who have seized control of the Republican leadership in the House,” said Hogue.

The House bill is part of an alarming, coordinated effort: In just three years, anti-choice legislators in 11 states have enacted similar laws.

“Anti-choice members in the House have foolishly bowed to the extreme groups who represent a small minority of Americans,” Hogue continued. “They will not stop until they completely undermine the ability of women to make personal, private medical decisions with their doctors. Women and men must take note: this is why elections matter. Politicians who no longer represent the interests of the majority must be held accountable come Election Day.”

NARAL Pro-Choice America and its network of state affiliates are dedicated to protecting and expanding reproductive freedom for all Americans. NARAL works to guarantee that every woman has the right to make personal decisions regarding the full range of reproductive choices, including preventing unintended pregnancy, bearing healthy children, and choosing legal abortion. In recognition of its work defending our constitutional right to choose, Fortune Magazine described NARAL as “one of the top 10 advocacy groups in America.”


Everyone should be able to decide if, when, how, and with whom they start or grow a family.

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