Bera Votes Against House Abortion Bill; Issue Exposes Rifts Among Republicans

May 13, 2015 | In the on-going culture wars, another abortion battle was fought today in the U.S. Congress. Today's battle was on ...

May 13, 2015 |

In the on-going culture wars, another abortion battle was fought today in the U.S. Congress. Today's battle was on the so-called Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act.

The bill, which would ban most abortions after 20-weeks of pregnancy, passed along mostly party lines by 242 to 184 vote. Among those voting against the measure was Congressman Dr. Ami Bera (D - Elk Grove).

If enacted, among other things, the law would require women who become pregnant by reason of incest or rape receive counseling at least 48-hours before the abortion is performed. Additionally, the law would make it easier to sue abortion providers who are non-compliant and expose physicians to possible criminal penalties.

Although the bill easily passed the House, it is largely symbolic as President Obama is unlikely to sign it into law. Nonetheless, the vote has exposed rifts within Republican Party.

An earlier version of the legislation was withdrawn after female members of the Republican House caucus expressed concern about the language. At least one Roman Catholic group, Catholics For Choice, has also came out against the legislation.

"This cruel bill, which is based on arbitrary gestational limits and junk science, would put women's health and rights at risk, particularly poor and marginalized women," Jon O'Brien, president of Catholics for Choice said. "It's dangerous and outright wrong for policymakers to play politics with women's lives and health."

Similar bills modeled by Nation Right to Life have been enacted by 11 states. This bill was a legislative priority for the National Right to Life for the 114th Congress.

In his descending vote, Bera noted the law would interfere with the doctor-patient relation. He also noted that according to Planned Parenthood 99-percent of the procedures occur before the 20-week mark and later abortions are usually a medical necessity for the mother.

“When I became a doctor, I took an oath to provide my patients with the best options available to them and to explain the risks and benefits of these choices,” Bera said. " This bill is just another extreme attempt of politicians trying to insert themselves into the exam room where they don’t belong.”

Below is a video of Bera's floor speech.

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Anonymous said...

Good for Bera!
I had tried to find who the four Dems were yesterday who voted for this bill.

This is indeed an extremely cruel bill, imposing mental and emtional stress on women, especially those who are in the most fragile situations to begin with (rape & incest).

Bera, thank you.

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