As the House prepares to vote Tuesday on a bill that would ban abortions past 20 weeks of pregnancy, President Obama has issued a threat to veto the legislation.
The White House issued a Statement of Administration Policy (SAP) Monday which indicates that the President has been advised to veto the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act if it passed the House and Senate.
According to the SAP:
The Administration strongly opposes H.R. 1797, which would unacceptably restrict women’s health and reproductive rights and is 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.
Forty years ago, the Supreme Court affirmed a woman’s constitutional right to privacy, including the right to choose. This bill is a direct challenge to Roe v. Wade and shows contempt for women’s health and rights, the role doctors play in their patients’ health care decisions, and the Constitution. The Administration is continuing its efforts to reduce unintended pregnancies, expand access to contraception, support maternal and child health, and minimize the need for abortion. At the same time, the Administration is committed to the protection of women’s health and reproductive freedom and to supporting women and families in the choices they make.
If the President were presented with this legislation, his senior advisors would recommend that he veto this bill.
A House committee passed the bill last Wednesday on a vote of 20-12. The bill is sponsored by Rep. Trent Franks (R-AZ).
According to LifeSiteNews, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) added rape and incest exceptions to the bill on Friday during a discussion with Democrat Whip Steny Hoyer (D-MD). The Republican change requires that the rape or incest of a minor be reported to appropriate authorities. The Democrat amendment did not require that change.
Eric Ferrero, Vice President for Communication at Planned Parenthood, said the GOP requirement “is designed to shame and judge victims of violent crimes, requiring a woman to prove that she has reported her rape to police before she can access an abortion.”
Planned Parenthood, however, has been accused of repeatedly failing to report circumstances of statutory rape. A recent video exposé by Project Defending Life demonstrated that Planned Parenthood of new Mexico in Albuquerque told an undercover 14 year-old caller that the abortion facility “probably won’t” report that she was impregnated by her 21 year-old boyfriend, a situation that qualifies as statutory rape.
On Monday, Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL), chair of the Democratic National Committee, tweeted against the ban, “Women shouldn’t have to worry that our government will try to interfere in personal health care decisions.” She continued, “The GOP’s abortion bill is an extreme, unprecedented reach into women’s lives.”