“House passed bill permanently prohibiting DC money for abortion.”

Photo by PoPville flickr user Bossi

Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton tweets yesterday:

House passed bill permanently prohibiting DC money for abortion. I’m already working w/ Senate allies to defeat it.

From a press release:

“After speaking on the House floor, Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC) said she will vigorously fight to prevent Senate consideration and passage of a national anti-choice bill passed by the House today that uniquely targets the District of Columbia by permanently prohibiting the District from spending its local funds that have been approved by Congress on abortion services for low-income women. The bill also permanently bans federal funding for abortion, prohibits D.C. and federal government employees from providing abortions, prohibits abortions in D.C. and federal government facilities, and defines the D.C. government as part of the federal government for purposes of abortion.

“After millions of women protested to demand respect and the ability to make personal health decisions about their own bodies, House Republicans have once again have launched a double attack against the constitutionally-protected reproductive rights of women across the nation and against the home-rule rights of the 680,000 American citizens living in the District of Columbia,” Norton said. “I will be working closely with our allies in the Senate to defeat this anti-choice, anti-home-rule bill.”

137 Comment

  • NH Ave Hiker


  • It’s high time people in DC began refusing to serve, sell stuff to, or otherwise work with members of Congress who micro manage the city.

    • +100
      Pics of all of them and their staff members on the wall of every bar, restaurant, and shop. Harass them publicly, if necessary.

        • While individual staff members MAY be aligned with him on his meddling in local DC issues we can’t know for sure. Go after the members of Congress who vote on the record to limit our democratic rights and DC home rule.

          • We should go after anyone supporting and enabling this. We don’t have to parse whether you’re *really* a racist/fascist/creep when you actually *do* all the racist/fascist/creepy things.

      • The tolerant left, folks

        • Stupid comment. We shouldn’t be “tolerant” of this kind of action.

        • I’m more of an intolerant taxpayer who has no say in how my federal (and now local) taxes are spent despite living in a mother fucking democracy (allegedly) and who is rightfully pissed off about it.

          • The reactionary right seems to labor under the delusion that all leftists preach tolerance and peace – they’re about to see what the long tradition of radicals who have zero patience for them or their bullshit looks like.

        • west_egg


      • I don’t really see the point of taking one’s ire out on the staffers. Let’s focus on the actual members of Congress.

      • Do you genuinely believe this is a good idea? I’m not antagonizing you, I’m just curious how you believe such a vindictive action is justified and if you’ve fully considered the consequences of this sort of behavior. Have you considered that there are people who disagree with your beliefs just as strongly and would apply your very reasoning to justify their harassment/shaming/intimidation/denial of services against people like you? How would you feel about it if you were on the receiving end?

        and if you’ve considered how this sort of attitude could be

    • In before some one says its not right to discriminate against autocrats and fascists who subvert the will of voters.
      I wonder if we could also name and shame staffers for Chaffetz & co. who aren’t registered as DC residents but should be. They are tax evaders and illegal voters if they live here but don’t vote here.

      • Let’s name and shame all of them regardless. Leave our trash in front of their buildings; put up WANTED posters around their neighborhoods; obstruct every facet of their lives in D.C.

        • Bad ideas, especially the one about the trash. Let’s focus on the members of Congress themselves, not their staffers.

      • Just FYI, political party is a protected class in DC- so be sure that you’re clear that it’s due to their actions and NOT their political party.

        • political party being a protected class in DC is the most DC thing ever.
          Makes sense and logical. but I actually laughed.

      • This is actually not true– people who hail from the home state of the member they work for, and who moved to DC for the express purpose of doing that work, get to remain residents of their home states. There is antiquated DC code to back this up, but it should be overturned.

        • The DC Office of Human Rights enforces the DC Human Rights Act, which makes discrimination illegal based on 19 protected traits for people that live, visit or work in the District of Columbia. The DC Human Rights Act prohibits discrimination in housing, employment, public accommodations and educational institutions.

        • Right, but most senior staff have moved around on the Hill. Though I guess someone who has bounced around offices (and been in DC longer, therefor) probably had to relent and re-register at some point, so there may not be a big pool of shame to work with.

    • Our household doesn’t purchase items nor visits states that have Congressmen who interfere with DC legislation.

      • You avoid the entire state of Maryland?

      • I have some bad news for you. 238 Representatives voted for this legislation (and all but 4 Republicans). If you only purchase items from or visit Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont, I applaud your commitment, but somehow I don’t think that’s true (unless you live on hyperbole, tuna poke smothered in maple syrup, and basically don’t eat vegetables from the supermarket).
        Plus, Utah has the best skiing, and I refuse to deprive myself just because Jason Chaffetz is an asshat.

      • Dad calls that cutting off your nose to spite your face.

      • @kittycatbob
        Our city is surrounded on all sides by Virginia/Maryland and we don’t have an airport. What’s it like having never left DC?

    • Political affiliation is a protected class in DC, so good luck with that

      • If you refuse service to Democrats, Republicans, or Independents alike who support this legislation, then you are not discriminating based on political affiliation.

      • What if it’s based on how they vote? It looks like one Democrat also sponsored it, so he’d also be banned. Owners have the right to refuse service.

    • Agreed. And it’s high time DC residents go after the ultimate source of these lawmakers’ power — their constituents. I’m launching a campaign to fund advertisements in the districts of lawmakers who obstruct DC local politics.


  • Tsar of Truxton

    Its going to be a loooong four years…

  • Okay folks, we cannot sit here with our quiet outrage and let this happen. Anyone have good info on what can be done? I always feel at a loss for who to contact as a DC resident.

    • What we can do is get everybody in the city to start calling Chaffetz’s office with every complaint that would otherwise go to 311. Broken parking meter? Call Chaffetz. Potholes? Street light out? Recycling not picked up? Call Chaffetz. Explain clearly that since he want to run the city, he has to run ALL of the city. Seriously – let’s flood his office with service requests!

    • Absolutely. Ad campaigns in Chaffetz’s district. Check it out: https://www.gofundme.com/defenddc

      Calls, letters, sit-ins mean very little to a Congressperson unless they come from their district. We need allies in this fight — which means connecting with people in Utah’s 3rd district.

  • because keep the feds out of it and local government is the best……unless I can impose my personal beliefs on a city halfway across the country from the place I represent!

  • I hope not all Senators are acting like Ted Cruz right now, who is actively avoiding his constituents’ phone calls and visits…http://www.burntorangereport.com/diary/32496/ted-cruz-locks-constituents-wont-make-appointments

    Otherwise, Congress is going to run unchecked for the next 4 years, completely neglecting and hiding from many of their constituents.

    • Or two years. Ted Cruz is among the other Senators up for re-election in 2018.

    • Yeah, I’m a native Texan and call his office almost weekly. 9 times out of 10, the Dallas office goes straight to a recorded message with no opportunity to leave any kind of comment. I’ve started calling the Austin office and reporting the poor communication out of Dallas. “My word, it feels almost like the Senator doesn’t want to hear from his constituents!”

  • Somebody needs to take over the Not Your District PAC because they do not seem to on top of their game and out front of this steam roller over our rights.

  • No taxpayer funding for abortions is a sensible policy locally and nationally.

    • IT IS NOT a sensible policy IF THE VOTERS APPROVE SUCH A POLICY to support abortion funding. In DC, we have supported politicians that support abortion funding.

    • Hi Ed, would you like to tell us more about what women should and shouldn’t do with their bodies while you’re at it?

      • Girl on a Hill


      • HaileUnlikely

        Without comment on my opinion on the matter (I’m deeply conflicted about it and haven’t fully formed my opinion, quite honestly), “what people should be able to do” and “what other people should be required to pay for” are different questions. I’m fine with your objecting to Ed’s opinion, but what you are not addressing Ed’s stated opinion, but rather some other argument that you assume (in fairness, probably correctly) is an opinion that Ed also holds. We’re not talking about the legality of abortion here, we’re talking about funding mechanisms. Let’s stay on point.

        • Cutting off access to abortions by killing funding to it is effectively telling a woman what to do with her body, so it is on point.

          • First, DC voters should decide this issue for DC. However, the absence of funding for a given activity is most certainly not a government directive on that point. Let’s keep this reasonable.

          • HaileUnlikely

            I disagree, though that is tangential to my point, which is basically boils down to this: This is a really f*cking contentious issue, on par with few others. It is easy for arguments about this to get really ugly really quickly if we blow right by each other’s arguments and start making assumptions about one another and about what *else* others must believe if they believe X, rather than just addressing one another’s actual arguments.

          • I disagree as well. It’s not denying women the right to have abortions but rather choosing not to pay for them.

            Outlawing abortion would be telling women what to do with their body

          • I think this is a slippery slope argument. To me it appears that this bill is targeted directly at services that are most likely to be used by low-income women who would not otherwise be able to afford services. Thus, cutting off funds for these women is in practice equal to outlawing abortion for them — not everyone has $1500+ in a bank account to throw at this stuff (especially if we’re all going to end up paying a whopping amount for contraception on top of it, which isn’t 100% effective).

          • Thank you Friday Girl. And that is precisely what I meant. When social services are the only way for a woman to end an unwanted pregnancy and they are not available to her, it is not her choice.

            And DC has decided this issue by electing officials who fund services that provide abortions. Stop acting like this is a novel issue we haven’t come to our own conclusions on. We have. You all seem to think there are just a plethora of non-publicly funded clinics around here for people to rely upon. You seem to ignore this bill doesn’t tell clinics they simply can’t use federal or local funds to provide abortions. It tells them if you provide abortions you are cut off from any funds for any purpose.

      • This isn’t about telling women what they should and shouldn’t do with their bodies, this is about who pays for it.

        • And DC is willing and able to pay for it…

          • What is this based on? We can’t afford more police, or afford to fix our roads or alleys, yet we can afford this? Honestly, I’d prefer my tax dollars to be spent on ALL DC residents.

          • “Honestly, I’d prefer my tax dollars to be spent on ALL DC residents.”
            There are lots of programs funded by the D.C. budget that benefit lower-income populations rather than the entire D.C. population.

          • west_egg

            But we CAN afford more police, and we CAN afford to fix our roads and alleys (in addition to abortion funding). Money isn’t the problem; it’s that Muriel’s MPD and DDOT are inept.

          • 1. We know we can afford it because WE ALREADY DO THIS. This isn’t preventing us from doing something we haven’t been doing. It’s telling us to stop doing something we already are doing.

            2. You might prefer your tax dollars go elsewhere. That’s what elections and voting are for. Too bad we don’t get a say in how our federal taxes are spent.

  • I would like to see local stores and restaurants refuse service to Reps/Senators who undermine the rights of the people of this fine city. Maybe someone should distribute a “Most Wanted”-like poster that business owners can use to keep the bums out.

    • Blithe

      This is likely neither practical, nor legal — and could have serious consequences for the small business owners that you’re trying to incite. It’s fun to snicker at the thought of it — but those of us who object to these tactics need to ask ourselves what we can do ourselves, individually and collectively, to protect our rights, and to determine how our tax dollars are spent.

      • Of course it’s legal. The war is already happening, and we’ve gotten our wakeup call that standing up for what’s right isn’t going to be neat and pretty.

        • Blithe

          So when people start boycotting and suing small local business for discrimination, I hope that all of the internet warriors are prepared to step in and support the businesses who could be severely, negatively impacted by a well-funded response to “refusing service….” to potential customers. Again, I understand the impulse. What I’m rejecting is the idea that particular small business owners should be burdened with the potential results of someone else’s wish for this type of boycott unless those someone elses agitating for change are also willing to cover the costs of things like financial losses, increased need for security, refusals to renew leases, and so on. This really isn’t a game. If you — or anyone — are urging someone else to fight a war that’s not “neat and pretty”, I hope you are also ready to burden yourself with the likely fallout.

      • Agreed with Blithe.

    • That’s ridiculous. Kinda sounds like the anti gay marriage folks who don’t want to bake cakes for gay weddings. Discrimination based on a customer’s beliefs cuts both ways.

      • Gay =/= a belief

        • Gay wedding ceremony =/= identity.
          No, being gay is not a belief but a marriage ceremony is an action and actions are predicated on beliefs. If you are selling a standard product/service, you should (and are) legally required to sell such product/service to any one regardless of their belief system or identity. However, you are not always required and should not be required to provide a specialized service or specialized product that specifically caters to one belief system. Example: A store owner cannot refuse to sell a normal cake to a gay couple, but should be able to refuse to make a cake that honors a gay wedding ceremony that the store owner disagrees with.
          If people here believe store owners should be permitted to deny normal services to someone because they disagree with political actions they made, I see no logical distinction as to why this doesn’t extend to ceremonial actions like specific types of weddings. I challenge anyone to properly identify the distinction. For the record, before any one goes after “my motives”, I’m a gay DC resident.

  • Would somebody please post who the Rep. sponsors/co-sponsors of this legislation — along with their office phone numbers — so each of our 680k+ residents can phone their office and register our complaints. Such a response would at least keep their office busy and focused on their own business: answering our complaint calls.

  • I’m actually about to move out of DC and into Indiana. I will NEVER cast a vote for any of these assholes who think they can meddle with D.C. They should be representing their own districts, not THE DISTRICT.

  • Link to text of the bill. https://www.congress.gov/bill/115th-congress/house-bill/7/text
    Link to the list who voted yes and who voted no. http://clerk.house.gov/evs/2017/roll065.xml
    The actual sponsor of the bill was Christopher H. Smith of N.J. http://chrissmith.house.gov/
    (202) 225-3765. @RepChrisSmith

    Chaffetz is on twitter at @jasoninthehouse

  • Blithe

    Query: If there is anyone out there willing to play “Ask a Conservative”, Please let me know. I really don’t get how the same people that advocate for states rights and personal responsibility also want to prohibit DC — or other entities — from spending tax dollars in ways that align with the wishes of the vast majority of the voters. I also don’t get how many so-called Pro-Life people can be anti-abortion, but also anti-things like birth control, health care, child care, support for stay-at-home parents and caregivers, etc. I’m really not being snarky or trying to be antagonistic here — just trying to understand how people logically reconcile some of this stuff — or if it’s that I should understand that “reconciling” some of this stuff is just not the goal, so even the way that I’m approaching this with my questions represents a cultural/ intellectual clash.

    • I am not a conservative, but I have many friends who are. They would say, (i) The Constitution direct Congress to exercise control over DC, so the local control argument doesn’t apply; (ii) DC isn’t a state (iii) when localities infringe on fundamental rights, it is appropriate for the Fed to jump in; and (iv) protection of innocent lives is paramount, and trumps all other considerations.
      Now, don’t shoot the messenger – I fully recognize the hypocrisy of each of these points – there are so many holes in them they look like swiss cheese. But that’s it in a nutshell.

      • Blithe

        Thank you! Really! I’ve no intention of shooting — or even aiming at — the messenger. I’m not even trying to develop better counter-arguments. I’m just trying to better understand some perspectives that, right now, I just totally don’t get.

      • In other words, because they can “exercise control over DC” then they will….impose their agenda over the will of the people of DC. And tell us what we can do with OUR taxpayers dollars. So much for less government

        • Sort of. Per the Constitution, “local control” of DC is given to Congress. The Home Rule Act passed along some of those powers to the city government, but that’s a temporary measure that can be revoked at any time, and ultimate authority remains with the federal government. This is fundamentally different than the relationship between the states and the federal government, in which the powers not specifically delegated to the federal government nor prohibited to the states are reserved to the states.
          It’s a hypocritical, technical argument that ignores the spirit of “local control” that Republicans always blather about. Decisions about whether the federal government has exceeded its authority are rendered by the federal courts. Republicans argue that regardless of whether the federal government CAN do something, they SHOULDN’T because they should defer to “local control.” That same sort of restraint isn’t advocated when they’re tinkering with DC’s laws.

          • There are a number of other federal countries with a capital district that is federalized rather than part of any state, and in most of these the national government has some level of control over local government decisions (in Australia, for example, if both houses of the national parliament vote to do so, they can veto an act of the legislative assembly of the Australian Capital Territory). But in EVERY SINGLE other country with a federal capital district (Mexico, Venezuela, Brazil, Argentina, India, Pakistan, Malaysia, and Australia), the citizens of the federal capital district have full voting representation in the national parliament. The United States is the ONLY country that denies full parliamentary representation to those of its citizens who happen to live in the federal capital district and thus essentially turns those residents into colonial subjects rather than citizens. Which again shows how outdated, backward, and illiberal the U.S. constitution is.

    • As someone who is pro-life, it’s actually pretty easy. If you believe that abortion is murder, then you want to prevent murders from happening in your country. Many pro-life people are not “anti-things like birth control, health care, child care, support for stay-at-home parents and caregivers, etc” but that’s a great narrative that’s peddled by the pro-abortion camp. I actually support all those things and wish we had more support for mothers in all those areas so a mother never feels compelled to have to resort to murdering her baby because she feels like there is no support out there for her in her time of need. The pro-life movement needs to provide more support in all those areas.

      • There’s no such thing as “the pro-abortion camp” — it’s the pro-CHOICE camp.
        There are people like you who support birth control, but many pro-lifers are strongly opposed to birth control. I was posting some links the other day (in the “Metro Prepares for March for Life Friday” thread — http://www.popville.com/2017/01/metro-prepares-for-march-for-life-friday/ ) on “crisis pregnancy centers”; I’ll re-post them here:
        In my ideal world, abortion would be safe, legal, readily available… and rarely utilized, because sex education in this country would be MUCH better and contraception would be more widely used.

        • There’s no such thing as the “pro-life camp” either; it’s called anti-choice and anti-individual liberty.

          • HaileUnlikely

            I appreciate and respect the point of view that you laid out in your two longer and more thoughtful posts below. This here is just childish name-calling. It’s the kind of thing that makes many on the anti-choice camp want to write off the pro-choice camp altogether rather than attempting to engage in civil dialogue, just as I’ll freely admit that many of the faces of the anti-choice camp who will be in town marching around with signs flaunting their own ignorance will make you want to write them off tomorrow.
            Yes, I think we can stipulate that we disagree about abortion; I’m probably not going to “convert” you and you’re probably not going to convert me either. If we can stop calling each other names for a minute, though, there are a lot of places where we can, in in my opinion should, be working together to improve conditions for pregnant women, mothers, and families. Otherwise, the new administration is probably going to steamroll right over a lot of things that we both care about while we’re preoccupied with calling each other names. Let’s see if we can figure out how to not let that happen.

          • +1,000,000 to Haile Unlikely. I am anti-abortion but pro-choice (agree it’s a bad idea but know it’s sometimes the only recourse), and as a taxpayer and citizen have great concerns about my rights to spend money I contribute in a way consistent with the best interests of my locality. I also worry that District taxpayers end up with a much greater burden over time when we force families into untenable situations. This is a complex topic, and for many people incredibly close to their heart, but passion doesn’t need to equal anger and frenzy. We will need to work together to ensure that the most vulnerable in our society are not harmed by any political policies.

      • Another poster on that thread shared this damning account of a woman’s experience at two “crisis pregnancy centers” in Virginia:

      • On the topic of sex education, the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy has published some interesting studies showing that many U.S. teens have serious misunderstandings about contraception:
        From the first link: “Fully half of unmarried older teens strongly or somewhat agree with the statement ‘It doesn’t matter whether you use birth control or not; when it’s your time to get pregnant, it will happen.’ “

      • HaileUnlikely

        I am also pro-life, however, I don’t think there is any good likely to come of digging in our heels and and accusing others of “peddling a false narrative” when they question why many/most pro-lifers oppose other programs to prevent unintended pregnancy and to help pregnant women, mothers, and families, as that perception is not without foundation. For a long time, the public face of the pro-life movement has been single-issue voters who for the most part don’t actively oppose but also don’t prioritize such programs (*some also do oppose some forms of birth control and sex ed; more the “religious liberty” lobby than the pro-life movement I think, though there is no denying the significant overlap), as well as hardcore conservative elected officials swept into office by said single-issue voters who also fail to support, and sometimes outright oppose, such programs. I am not well-represented by the public face of the pro-life movement and I gather that you aren’t either, but I don’t think accusing others of peddling a false narrative is fair nor strategically wise. We have allowed those who provide the basis for that narrative to be the public face of the pro-life movement, in my opinion to the detriment of the cause.

        • Well said! As a fellow pro-lifer, I agree with your analysis!

          • I’ll correct that for both of you:
            “I am also anti-choice, however,…”
            “As a fellow person who thinks my values are more important than other people’s values and their individual liberties, I agree…”

          • HaileUnlikely

            I’m not going to get into an argument with you about labels.

        • Haile,

          I have seen you try to bring nuance to this issue in previous threads and I appreciate your efforts. You seem to be trying to disassociate the pro-choice side portraying pro-lifers reasonable people and not as crazed, mindless plastic-fetus-waving lunatics. But, when people deeply desire to mis-characterize others for the sake of their arguments, not reason will persuade them. After all, you are arguing with people who are cheering hounding people as they walk the streets. You have nothing to be ashamed of here, you hold the correct view and you have nothing for which to apologize. Stay strong.

        • +1 on the props to HaileUnlikely for bringing nuance (and reasonableness) to this discussion. (And to many other discussions.)

      • “Murdering their babies” oh my GODDDD oh my goddddd. Babies are what come out of the mother. Babies can feel. Fetuses (fertilized embryos) are what are in the womb. They are non-feeling and not! viable! humans! at the time of the average abortion (6-8 weeks). They are literally scientific experiments in an internal petri dish. All legal late-term abortions (21+ weeks) are done in situations where the mother’s life is at risk. The mother. A real, living, human being who has built a life. (btw- even those only account for 1.2% of all abortions)
        Also, if you’re over 30, on average 1 in every 3 women you know have had an abortion. It is a painfully hard decision for some and an easy, regret-free decision for others. The reason that that choice is even there is because it was legalized with Roe v. Wade per the Constitution. Making abortion illegal does not mean that fewer abortions will happen, it means that fewer women will survive the procedure when they go to get it because there will be no safety regulations.
        Abortion is not murder, so your line of reasoning “well it’s murder and we just want to decrease the murder rate” is completely off the wall and scientifically ignorant. The bottom line is that for a party that claims to want smaller government and fewer regulations, regulating something like this (a woman’s medical freedom) is completely hypocritical.

        • Thank you! I understand it can be easy for some people to conflate “baby” with “fetus,” and I also understand the very real medical questions / debate about the ethics of abortion *after a certain amount of time*, but please, this “murdering your baby” thing is why some elected officials are seeking to criminalize miscarriage! Nonsense!

        • +1 gazillion. I honestly don’t understand how anyone can justify being anti-choice. If you think ending an unwanted pregnancy is not okay, then don’t do it. But don’t inflict your values on my body. I find it especially egregious when men are anti-choice; many* of whom are men who constantly pressure women to have sex, pressure women to have unprotected sex, and some of whom resort to sexual violence. Many of these men also get their viagra subsidized through insurance (taxpayer dollars now!), while until recently, birth control wasn’t. It just reeks of patriarchal hypocrisy. *I’m not saying all men do this.
          As for the funding part, there are many things I don’t particularly want my tax dollars spent on, and many things my tax dollars are spent on that I don’t benefit from. I don’t currently own a house, and I don’t think I should have to subsidize the cost of others owning a house through the mortgage deduction. I wish less of my tax dollars went to defense, or corporate welfare. BUT I don’t plan on having children, and I’m generally okay helping fund public schools. TLDR; we don’t always get a say on where every penny goes, compounded by the fact that DC taxpayers actually voted to allow tax payer dollars to fund these services.
          I don’t want to sound hyperbolic, although I might. But, as a person who has supported several friends as they made this decision – either as a teenager, or in their early 20s, and who watched a dear friend, a married woman in her 30s who’s fetus died in the womb at 37 weeks and still had to push and deliver – I’m just personally affected and offended by anyone who tries to inflict their beliefs on my friends’ and my own body.

          • I think the “the fact that DC taxpayers actually voted to allow tax payer dollars to fund these services” is what does get to me specifically about HR7 — GOP legislators almost always run on a “the more local control the better” platform and one of the FIRST things they do is apply federal power over a local jurisdiction in opposition to the vote of that jurisdiction. It’s backwards and hypocritical.

          • “TLDR; we don’t always get a say on where every penny goes”
            Sure. But sometimes you do. The pro-life lobby is very effective, and like it or not, a lot of people are vehemently opposed to abortion. They have exerted control over how these particular tax dollars are spent (despite the fact that literally NONE of their own tax dollars are at issue).

          • @dcd Maybe my tension headache is fogging my brain, but what exactly are you trying to say here? That despite what DC voters chose, anti-choice lobbyists choose what to do with our tax dollars via their control of the GOP? It seems to me you are in exact agreement with kanon.

        • So, a “fetus” at 36 weeks gestation doesn’t feel pain? A fetus 5 minutes before birth doesn’t feel pain and 5 minutes after birth does feel pain? Let’s be real here.

          • I said they are non-feeling and not viable at the time of the average abortion (6-8 weeks). Late term fetuses that do carry feeling (in your example, 36 weeks) and are legally aborted are done so because the mother’s life is at risk. Again – you are ignoring science and doing so at the expense of women’s health.

          • AJSE,

            Thanks for your response. You probably will not believe it, but I do appreciate the struggle of figuring out the ethics of abortion. No doubt about it – pregnancy takes place inside a woman’s body. But, as I pointed out in my post above, this rationale does not end this discussion and I’m glad you agree that a fetus/ child in utero feels pain at 36 weeks. So, from that point I work backward to 35, 34, 33 weeks and going with the theme of not ignoring recent science, see that life develops on a continuum and there is no ‘life demarcation point’. Perhaps this is why there are movements around the world calling for “post-birth abortion”, where children can be killed months after being born. So, I acknowledge the ground on which you stand and hope that you can acknowledge the same for me.

          • There is no “life demarcation point” proven by science at this point, you’re correct, because a baby does not begin its life until it is outside of the womb. A fetus has a heartbeat at 12 weeks; a heartbeat =/= a viable life as you can grow a heartbeat in a lab. The law agrees with science that a fetus is non-viable until – at earliest – 24 weeks. I have a hard time appreciating that you struggle with the ethics of censoring doctors and limiting a woman’s medical options.

          • Are you saying that as a child struggles to make his or her way through the birth canal, that child is not alive? But, mere seconds later, as that child emerges from the womb into the arms of a doctor, doula, or whoever, the child is then alive?

          • I mean, you can keep putting words in other posters’ mouths (no one said anything like that) but it won’t make you right. Repeating misinformation might be Trump’s solution to truths he doesn’t like, but we don’t have to let it stand.
            To set the record straight: No one except you said that a full term fetus is not alive. No one except you said a full term fetus doesn’t feel pain.

          • I was responding to AJSE’s comment that “a baby does not begin its life until it is outside of the womb.” Isn’t that the same as saying “a full term fetus is not alive”, which is not what I believe, btw?

          • “Perhaps this is why there are movements around the world calling for ‘post-birth abortion’, where children can be killed months after being born.” What on earth are you talking about?? That sounds like fake news (unless possibly it’s related to China’s recently reversed one-child policy).

          • Journal of Medical Ethics from 2011 and 2012, underlying practices now in place in Belgium and The Netherlands: http://jme.bmj.com/content/39/5/261

          • “Late term fetuses that do carry feeling (in your example, 36 weeks) and are legally aborted are done so because the mother’s life is at risk.” AJSE, that’s not correct — a fetus at 36 weeks wouldn’t be “aborted” if the mother’s life were at risk. Labor would be induced, or an emergency C-section would be performed. Unless the baby is stillborn, it would be viable, so it would probably go to the NICU.

          • TO, thanks for the link. I’m looking at the article now, but I find no reference at all to Belgium and only this regarding the Netherlands: “In The Netherlands, for instance, the Groningen Protocol (2002) allows to actively terminate the life of ‘infants with a hopeless prognosis who experience what parents and medical experts deem to be unbearable suffering’.”
            I don’t think that constitutes a “movement.” I get the feeling that this is primarily a discussion among academic philosophers.
            For what it’s worth, I see that the publication also notes that its decision to publish the article met with very strong criticism.

      • west_egg

        I think the Venn diagram showing the anti-choice crowd and the repeal Obamacare crowd would have a whole lot of overlap. So while I acknowledge that there are certainly some anti-choice citizens who are (or at least claim to be) in favor of birth control and healthcare*, I certainly don’t think there are many.
        *The fact that there are even people in this country who aren’t in favor of healthcare for all our citizens…SMDH…

        • HaileUnlikely

          I’ll give you that, but I do think the “anti-choice” crowd is evolving quite a bit. A generation ago, there would have been almost complete overlap, but there is now a growing segment of the pro-life crowd that actually does support effective measures to reduce unintended pregnancies and to improve conditions for pregnant women, mothers, and families. See Democrats for Life of America for example. They were founded by liberal Catholics – I’m sure you won’t agree with every single one of their positions, but they are far from the stereotypical “pro-birth and anti-everything else” or “pro-birth and nothing else matters” group.

  • Sorry if I blacked out in the past, but I’m assuming DC has refused to comply with this kind of stuff before? I know the gun law legal battle was different (was a private citizen challenging if I remember right).

  • Just build a wall, named it Wall of Shames, and let D.C residents come and hang photos of Congress men/women, whom we think belonged there.

    • I am all for this. Can we start posting their photos on/near the White House fence and publicly shaming them? I like the phrase mentioned above — meddle in your own districts not THE DISTRICT — as a slogan.

  • I wonder if DC could provide, in direct response to this, a tax credit for an amount donated to planned parenthood or other abortion service providers in the District. This could be incremental to the itemized deduction already available at the federal level and could incentive us to donate at higher amounts and more frequently. I admit that I’m not sure if this type of indirect funding would be permitted under the new law.

  • Set up a recurring donation to the DC Abortion Fund. They help bridge the financial gap for people who need abortions in the DC area.

  • northeazy

    If the Pro-Life movement is now being called anti-choice, can the Pro-Choice movement now be called anti-life? Thanks for the new words EHN.

  • Why couldn’t the DC council take a more aggressive stance to force the issue w/ congress. Cut off any sort of public services we provide the feds. For instance, no more Metro Police support for motorcades/VIPs etc.

  • This post has nothing to do with whether you are pro-choice or pro-life. You live in a city that overwhelmingly supports access to abortions and I imagine if put to a referendum, would overwhelmingly support public funding of said abortions (and already does through the election of a city government that supports access to abortions through publicly subsidized means).

    The issue here is not whether we SHOULD do something. We are doing it already because DC residents support it already. The only issue anyone should debate here is whether the federal government should interfere in that. My taxes go to support a lot of things that I don’t necessarily see as an immediate benefit to me (e.g., pretty much all public schools in DC when I am a childless adult). But I recognize I live somewhere where people want to fund public schools, so it is what it is. So stop devolving into arguments about whether abortion is right or wrong. And start debating whether Jason Chaffetz should be telling us how to handle this issue with our own money.

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