RECENT VOTES

Women's Health

The House considered H.R. 1797: District of Columbia Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act. This bill is nothing more than a fruitless effort to challenge a womanís right to choose. It bans abortions after 20 weeks and does not include an exception to protect the health of the mother. Numerous medical organizations, such as the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists have pointed out that dangerous medical conditions that may threaten a womanís health are not always apparent before 20 weeks. H.R. 1797 would force women to continue the pregnancy under these circumstances, with potentially dire consequences. Even some religious groups, such as the United Church of Christ, oppose this bill because of the lack of compassion it shows for families confronted with the heartbreaking news that continuing the pregnancy would be dangerous.

The bill is also unquestionably unconstitutional because the Supreme Court in Roe v. Wade established that an exception to protect the health of the mother must be in place even after viability. H.R. 1797 also shows a shocking lack of compassion for victims of rape and incest. While it does include an exception for victims of rape or incest, it only applies if the crime is reported to law enforcement. An estimated 54% of rapes are never reported. All of those victims would be left out of this billís exception. President Obama has already stated that he will veto H.R. 1797. The legislation passed and the entire vote is recorded below:

  YEA NAY PRESENT NOT VOTING
REPUBLICAN

222

6

0

5

DEMOCRAT

6

190

0

5

TOTAL

228

196

0

10

MASSACHUSETTS
DELEGATION

0

8

0

1