WASHINGTON — House Republicans who oppose abortion promoted legislation on Wednesday that would ban the procedure after 20 weeks of pregnancy.
These Republicans want to move ahead despite recent court decisions that have struck down similar state laws. The GOP lawmakers are taking on their own leadership, which has shown little desire to hold votes on contentious social issues.
Arizona Rep. Trent Franks, joined by 10 other Republicans and anti-abortion advocates at a news conference, said there was a “good chance” that his bill would be floated in the full House this year.
Franks and others said the legislation would gain momentum from the recent conviction of a Philadelphia abortion provider, Dr. Kermit Gosnell, for killing three babies born alive in his clinic.
In the four decades that abortion has been legal in the United States, “many, until Gosnell, somehow construed abortion as victimless. That has changed,” said Rep. Chris Smith, R-N.J.
Franks' bill, which originally would have imposed the 20-week ban only in the District of Columbia, was expanded after the Gosnell case.
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