Posts tagged Legislation
Posts tagged Legislation
Posted: 05/23/2012 1:40 pm Updated: 05/23/2012 5:50 pm
A swarm of Washington, D.C., residents descended on Rep. Trent Franks’ (R-Ariz.) Capitol Hill office on Wednesday to drop off plastic rats, pictures of potholes, unfair parking tickets and other representations of municipal problems in protest of the D.C. abortion ban he sponsored.
Franks recently introduced a bill that would ban abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy in D.C. and denied D.C.’s only elected representative, Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D), from testifying at the hearing on the bill. The incident sparked debates about D.C.’s lack of voting representation in Congress, since Norton does not have a vote.
Wednesday’s protest was organized by DC Vote, an advocacy group dedicated to securing full representation for D.C. in Congress, and Planned Parenthood of Metropolitan Washington. One by one, about 50 protesters knocked on the door of Franks’ office, and then spoke a few words about a problem in the city that they think “Mayor Franks” should address if he’s going to be writing laws that affect D.C. residents.
"My issue today is Metro — full funding for Metro," said Jon Ozment, a 56-year-old D.C. resident. "As a constituent here, I use Metro all the time, my children use it, and it’s really disgraceful the condition they’ve allowed Metro to get to."
"I have to say I’m very disappointed today," he added. "I really wanted to meet my representative, Mr. Franks. He’s supposed to be representing us and I did take some time to come in here today, so I hope he takes these concerns into account."
Franks’ office did not respond to HuffPost’s request for comment.
Franks told the Washington City Paper last week that D.C. residents who were upset about representation issues were “missing the point.”
"District of Columbia is not the issue here," Franks said. "It’s the pain of the child, and when people make the District of Columbia the issue they’re missing the point."
Douglas Johnson, legislative director for the National Right to Life Committee (NRLC), fired back at the D.C. protesters in an email to HuffPost later Wednesday.
"The local demonstrators say, in effect, that the federal capital city belongs to them and that the rest of America should just shut up," he said. "But the U.S. Constitution makes it crystal clear that the District of Columbia belongs to all of the American people, and is to be governed by the Congress and the president."
This article has been updated to reflect comment from the National Right to Life Committee.
A Republican state legislator in Arizona reportedly wrote an email to a constituent saying that women should witness an abortion before having an abortion.
The email published on a political blog on the Arizona Republic's website Tuesday is apparently from State Rep. Terri Proud (R-Tucson) and appears to have been sent from a state email, the paper said.
The email was in response to a constituent who said she emailed Proud and fellow lawmakers to let them know she opposed the bill pending in the Legislature that would ban abortions after the 20th week of pregnancy. The site reports that the email is unedited.
"Personally I’d like to make a law that mandates a woman watch an abortion being performed prior to having a "surgical procedure". If it’s not a life it shouldn’t matter, if it doesn’t harm a woman then she shouldn’t care, and don’t we want more transparency and education in the medical profession anyway? We demand it everywhere else.
Until the dead child can tell me that she/he does not feel any pain - I have no intentions of clearing the conscience of the living - I will be voting YES.”
An aide in Proud’s Phoenix office told The Huffington Post that Proud was performing legislative duties and unavailable for immediate comment. She has not returned a message left with her office.
The email is drawing quick criticism from Democratic lawmakers.
"This is another instance of them going off the deep end on this," House Minority Leader Chad Campbell (D-Phoenix) told HuffPost. "This is a continued attack on women’s health care and women’s choice. I wonder if Representative Proud would agree with this on every surgical procedure. This is ludicrous."
Campbell said he hopes Proud was not serious in her email and would not be proposing it as an amendment to the bill.
Rep. Matt Heinz (D-Tucson), a physician, said Tuesday Proud’s email shows a misunderstanding of laws and procedures governing medicine and medical education. Heinz said there are laws in place to prevent spectators from watching surgery, which would include abortions. He also suggested that Proud consider other issues.
"My only response is for this Legislature to stop this embarrassing obsession with social issues that do not create a single job in our state," said Heinz, who also characterized the email as a "hodgepodge of crazy."
In addition to the abortion ban, the Arizona Legislature is considering bills to defund Planned Parenthood, allow doctors to withhold information from patients to prevent abortions, and to allow employers to opt out of contraception coverage for religious reasons. The contraception bill also would allow employers to demand women provide reasons for why they are using birth control and allow for firing if it is for nonmedical reasons.
Proud is known as one of the more conservative members of the Legislature and earlier this month passed a bill to allow public schools to teach the Bible as an elective class.
Campbell said though that the email could be revealing a liberal bent in his colleague. “Talk about big government, that’s the epitome of big government,” Campbell said. “This is getting out of hand.”