Hearing on DC abortion ban Thursday

U.S. Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC) will not be allowed to testify Thursday at a congressional hearing on a bill prohibiting abortions past 20 weeks of pregnancy from being performed in the District of Columbia, according to a statement Norton’s office released today.

The House Subcommittee on the Constitution hearing on the bill, H.R. 3803, will be chaired by Rep. Trent Franks (R-AZ), who is the bill sponsor. Congresswoman Norton will submit written testimony after the subcommittee rejected her request to testify, according to the release.

“The post-20-week D.C. abortion ban bill targets an entire group of individuals, women who live in the District of Columbia, and their constitutional rights,” Norton said.

The congresswoman will host a press conference Thursday with D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray at 2:30pm prior to the hearing, which is open to the public.

D.C. Abortion Fund (DCAF) works with D.C.-area women and girls who request assistance paying for their abortion procedures.  DCAF is encouraging supporters to attend and live-tweet the hearing, and to donate toward patient assistance grants in honor of Rep. Franks.

Out-of-pocket medical fees can reach into the thousands of dollars for patients accessing abortion services later in pregnancy. One in five D.C. residents lives in poverty, and many DCAF patients lack resources to travel to other states for their procedures.

The House Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution hearing on H.R. 3803 will be Thursday, May 17 at 4pm.  It in located  in the Rayburn House Office Building, Room 2141, at Independence Ave. SW and S. Capitol St. SE.

Additional reading:
“What’s in the Cards for D.C. Budget Autonomy?” Roll Call, 5/7/2012
“Hearing for D.C. Abortion Bill,” DC Vote