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Congresswoman Louise Slaughter

Representing the 25th District of New York

Pro-Choice Leaders Condemn Extreme Republican Bill That Would Ban Abortion after Six Weeks

November 1, 2017
Press Release
H.R. 490 violates Roe v. Wade, which guarantees women's constitutional right to abortion services

WASHINGTON, DC — Ahead of a House Judiciary Subcommittee hearing today, Reps. Louise Slaughter (D-NY) and Diana DeGette (D-CO), co-chairs of the Congressional Pro Choice Caucus, condemned an unconstitutional bill introduced by Rep. Steve King (R-IA) that would ban abortion after six weeks. This proposed abortion ban is so extreme it would apply to women who do not even know they are pregnant yet, intentionally preventing them from exercising their constitutional right to access abortion services. 

“This bill is not about science or facts. It is just another case of men who don't think women have the right to control their own bodies. This legislation is blatantly unconstitutional and it's time to stop the bans,” said Slaughter.

“The endless Republican efforts to curtail women’s rights are incomprehensible,” DeGette said. “It’s disgraceful that a bill this extreme would even get a hearing. Speaker Ryan must not bring this offensive legislation to the floor.”

H.R. 490 makes no exception for victims of rape or incest. Under this bill, women would only be allowed access to abortion services in situations where their lives were endangered due to a medical condition. Even in those cases, physicians may be forced to defend themselves to their State Medical Boards. There is also no exception made for a woman whose life is in danger due to an emotional or psychological emergency.

This bill violates U.S.  Supreme Court precedent set in Roe v. Wade and affirmed in Planned Parenthood v. Casey. It is another in a long line of attacks on women’s reproductive rights.

Women's rights and access to health care have been under unprecedented assault from Republicans on both ends of Pennsylvania Avenue. Last month, the president issued two Interim Final Rules that allowed nearly any employer to be exempt from the requirement under the Affordable Care Act to cover birth control and other forms of contraception without cost-sharing. Republican leaders in the House recently passed H.R. 36, which bans abortion after an arbitrary cutoff date and criminalizes procedures performed thereafter.