Washington, D.C. – Today, women’s rights supporters defeated anti-woman ideologues in the Senate and their enablers who tried to criminalize abortions at just 20 weeks gestation — well before viability, in direct conflict with the core holding of Roe v. Wade.
This dangerous measure, deceptively named the “Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act,” (S. 1553) rested on a tissue of lies. Under the guise of protecting women and children, the bill’s proponents have used junk science to claim that:
- Fetuses are viable and can feel pain at 20 weeks – FALSE.
- Abortion at that stage is too risky for women – FALSE. Abortion at this stage is still safer than childbirth.
- The public supports a 20-week ban – FALSE. Overwhelming majorities want pre-viability abortions, including at and after 20 weeks, to remain safe and legal.
NOW chapters around the country joined with our allies to stop the 20-week ban, and we succeeded. But, seemingly unphased, extremists in Congress are doubling down in their ongoing war on women. They are actually vowing to shut down the U.S. government unless Planned Parenthood is defunded — in other words, unless basic, essential reproductive health services are withheld from 2.7 million women and men in the coming year.
NOW thanks the women’s rights supporters in the Senate who voted to block the 20-week ban. As for those who voted to move the bill forward, our chapters around the country are already mobilizing to defeat them when they are up for re-election in 2016.
Every woman has the right to have the children she wants, raise the children she has, plan her own family and make her own healthcare decisions. That means women must have the social, economic and political power to pursue their goals. We will not rest until that is a reality for all women, in all communities.