Congressman Trent Franks' D.C. Abortion Bill: Job Or Activism?
Arizona Congressman Trent Franks yesterday introduced a bill into Congress that would dictate when women in Washington D.C. are allowed to end a pregnancy.
The rest of the country's allowed to make its own rules, but thanks to the U.S. Constitution, Franks and his Congressional cronies have a say when it comes to the nation's Capitol.
Franks' bill, "The District of Columbia Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act," would ban abortions in D.C. of fetuses that are 20 weeks or older -- according to Franks, research shows that fetuses start feeling pain at 20 weeks.
See our post on Franks' bill here.
The Constitution may give Congress authority over Washington D.C., but we have a feeling abortion legislation wasn't what the founding fathers had in mind.
In this case, it seems Franks' authority over what goes on in the nation's Captiol is being used to draw attention to his bread-and-butter issue (when he's not screeching about how gay guys gettin' hitched is "literally a threat to our nation's survival," that is): abortion.
No state can outlaw abortion thanks to the 1973 Roe V. Wade Supreme Court ruling, but regulating how abortions are performed is a right designated to individual states.
Bans similar to the one proposed by Franks have been approved by legislatures in five states -- Nebraska, Kansas, Alabama, Oklahoma, and Idaho (we're gonna go ahead and leave that list of states alone. Just kidding -- Franks is taking his cues from Nebraska, Kansas, Alabama, Oklahoma, and Idaho!)
According to the National Right to Life Committee, the anti-abortion group "has long been dismayed by the abortion policy that is currently in place in one jurisdiction that is under the direct constitutional authority of the Congress: the Federal District (District of Columbia)."
In other words, Franks is trying to regulate how abortions are performed in Washington D.C. because that's the only place he has the "direct" authority to do so.
That's our opinion, of course. We want to know what you think: is Franks just doing his job as a congressman overseeing the Federal District, or is his bill just activism in the form of legislation?
Cast your vote below.
Get the This Week's Top Stories Newsletter
Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts stories — along with film and food reviews and the best things to do this week — so that you'll never miss Phoenix New Times' biggest stories.