Democrat Offers to Rename Trent Franks' Abortion Bill "Ronald Reagan Impose Your Beliefs on A Woman's Womb Act"
For some reason, a few legislators weren't fans of Arizona Congressman Trent Franks naming his bill for a federal ban on race/gender-based abortions after Frederick Douglass and Susan B. Anthony.
The bill was submitted by Franks under the name "Susan B. Anthony and Frederick Douglass Prenatal Non-discrimination Act of 2011," but was amended to the "Prenatal Non-Discrimination Act" before it passed out of the House Judiciary Committee last week.
Congressman Hank Johnson, a Georgia Democrat, had some other ideas for shameless name-dropping in the bill's title.
Johnson offered amendments to change the bill's title to either "The Ronald Reagan Impose Your Beliefs on a Woman's Womb Act" or "The Tea Party Determines What Rights a Woman Has Act."
Since the title change to the "Prenatal Non-Discrimination Act" was agreed to, Johnson ended up pulling both amendments.
Others on the committee -- mostly the Democrats -- were still pissed off about Franks' decision to use Douglass and Anthony as the headline for his abortion bill.
"The reason why this continues is because it is such an egregious act to misappropriate the name of a dead man, who happens to be a hero, who stood for certain things," Johnson said. "And to go back and revise that history, that legacy, for purely political purposes is what is objectionable to me."
After explaining his amendments to change the title, then withdrawing them, Johnson was then scolded by Ohio Republican Congressman Steve Chabot -- for taking Reagan's name "in vain."
"The gentleman has just more or less taken Ronald Reagan's name in vain and said that had Ronald Reagan been around back in slavery times, he would have been for slavery," Chabot said. "I do not think that is the case."
Chabot continued his rant on Reagan, before yielding back to Johnson after Johnson and others requested Chabot stop speaking 11 times.
After all that, neither Reagan nor Douglass made the title, as the bill passed out of committee as the "Prenatal Non-Discrimination Act."
Read through the transcript of the meeting by clicking here.
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.