House Passes Bill Banning Abortions After 20 Weeks

The House of Representatives passed an updated version of the H.R. 36 bill that bans women from getting an abortion after 20 weeks of pregnancy.

According to the Wall Street Journal, the bill would have initially required sexual assault victims to fill out a police report, so one could be on file in case an abortion was sought. A revised version of the bill did away with that requirement. The update includes counseling and medical attention be made available to rape victims 48 hours prior to the abortion.

The updated bill passed with a vote of 242-184. Representative Diane Black of Tennessee is one of the Republicans who worked on revising the bill before presenting it for a vote. Black said the updated abortion bill is “stronger.”

“Rather than having a woman prove she was raped, let’s give her medical care and counseling.”

The bill also allows incest victims under the age of 18 to get an abortion after 20 weeks. However, it does not provide any details for incest victims over the age of 18.

The bill may have passed the House, but it’s unlikely that President Obama will sign it into law. Back in January, the National Journal reported that Obama had threatened to veto the previous bill. In a statement, the White House called the bill “an assault on a woman’s right to choose.”

“Women should be able to make their own choices about their bodies and their health care, and government should not inject itself into decisions best made between a woman and her doctor.”

Pennsylvania Representative Charlie Dent told the Wall Street Journal that he doesn’t think Obama will change his mind with the new bill if it does happen to pass the Senate.

“This is a lot of time and energy spent on a bill that really has no chance of becoming law.”

Gretchen Borchelt, the vice president for health and reproductive rights at the National Women’s Law Center, issued a statement saying the abortion bill is all about “politics.”

“Passing an unconstitutional nationwide ban on later abortions does nothing to help women — instead, it threatens their health and lives and interferes in their personal medical decisions. It is long past time for politicians to stop meddling with women’s health — our lives are not up for debate.”

As previously reported by the Inquisitr, the original version of the abortion bill outraged North Carolina Representative Renee Ellmers and other Republicans. Ellmers was later criticized by conservative blogger Erik Erickson, who said she was watering down the bill in order to get votes from others who oppose it.

[Photo by Allison Shelley/Getty Images]