Rep. Reed and the Proposed Abortion Law

On Wednesday the House Judiciary Committee approved a the “Pain-Capable Unborn Protection Act.” which will ban most abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy. It is expected to be brought to a vote next week. There are a couple of things everyone should know about this bill.

  • This bill is a waste of time. It will never pass the Senate, nor will our President ever sign it. The Republicans know this, and, like voting against the Affordable Care Act thirty-seven times, is presenting this bill only for political reasons.
  • A similar bill in Arizona was struck down in May by a Federal Court. The Court declared it violated a woman’s right to terminate a pregnancy before a fetus is viable (which is generally considered to start at 24 weeks.)
  • The only exception in the bill is  to save a pregnant woman whose life is endangered by a physical illness arising from the pregnancy. The is the ONLY Exception: Not Rape, Not Incest, Not if there is a non-pregnancy related illness.
  • Also–If your doctor tells you your pregnancy cannot produce a baby that will live, this law will force you to carry the nonviable fetus to term and go through child birth because it says so.

The Rachel Maddow Show this week focused on this bill and said, “The bill specifically establishes a nationwide ban on having an abortion in the event you find out your fetus is nonviable; it cannot live. A determination of that sad circumstance is often not made until 20 some weeks into the pregnancy, but if you find out tragically that the fetus has no brain or no skull or its lungs are not going to be developed and it cannot otherwise survive, this nationwide abortion ban would apply to those cases specifically as well. Those would have to, by law, be carried to full term.” A link to the full segment is here, this topic starts about 3 minutes into the segment.

Last year a similar bill (H.R. 3803) was written specifically for the District of Columbia. The final tally was  220 ayes (203 Republicans, 17 Democrats), 154 nays (6 Republicans, 148 Democrats). Two Republicans voted “Present”.  Although the D.C. bill received more ayes than nays, it did not pass. The bill needed a 2/3 majority vote (251 ayes) since it was a ‘suspended motion’ bill–which are suppose to be bipartisan, and non-controversial legislation. Obviously someone missed the boat on this vote.

Where does our congressmen, Rep. Tom Reed stand on this topic? In the District  of Columbia proposed law he voted with the majority of Republicans and favored limiting women’s right to an abortion to the first twenty weeks of pregnancy. He voted for no exceptions except if the mother’s life is threatened because of the pregnancy.

Compare his vote to a statement he made to the a few weeks before his last election, “I am pro-life and oppose abortion with some exceptions in cases of rape, incest and life of the mother.” If  he really thought those exceptions were important, he would have voted “Nay”. But he didn’t.

In the same interview Rep. Reed retorted on the War-On-Women label, “I find the “war on women” name-calling to be offensive. Such rhetoric is nothing but playing the politics of division and those who try to win by dividing us aren’t leaders. And there is no threat to care such as pap smears, pelvic exams, breast cancer screening, etc.” Doesn’t he realize that voting to repeal the ACA would affect the availability of those procedures? He didn’t mention personhood bills that would make most contraception techniques illegal, or forcing transvaginal ultrasound on women before legal abortions. He didn’t include the defunding of Planned Parenthood and other organizations that provided quality health care for a low price, or workplace discrimination, or equal pay for equal work, or violence against, or…. well, you get the idea. His view on the War On Women is very narrow.

Reed’s opponent in 2014 will be Emily’s List supported Martha Robertson. Emily List’s is dedicated to electing pro-choice Democratic women to office. Like it or not Rep. Reed, Women’s Rights and the War on Women, will be a big part of the 2014 campaign.

The “Pain-Capable Unborn Protection Act” will probably come to the floor of the House this week for discussion and a vote. How Rep. Reed will vote? Does he vote with the radical right to indicate that he is one of them?   Or will be become realistic and, knowing that this bill will not become law, vote against it? I see this bill as a lose-lose situation for our congressman.

About pystew

Retired Teacher, political science geek, village trustee. I lean a little left, but like a good political discussion. My blog, the New NY 23rd (http://newny23rd) is about discussing the issues facing the people of our new congressional district. Let's hear all sides of the issues, not just what the candidates want us to hear.
This entry was posted in 2014, Constitution, Health Care, Political, Reed's Views, Rights and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to Rep. Reed and the Proposed Abortion Law

  1. Deb Meeker says:

    Well thank you pystew for this timely and well researched piece! Perhaps Mr. Reed will have scheduled another needed medical issue by then, or just vote “present”. As we know the members are allowed to not vote on issues occasionally, when the vote is not critical, and would jeopardize them in their district. To another blogger on NY23rd: Perhaps we have found a potential third rail.


  2. whungerford says:

    The House has wasted time over and over again with political bills that they know have no chance to become law. An example is the “Smarter Solutions for Students Act,” legislation purported to lower student loan interest rates. Tom feigns that this law is the only answer to avoid a rate increase, and the President and the Senate have no reason not to support it. I do wonder how many are taken in by this sort of political posturing.

    Tom has occasionally shown himself to be thin-skinned when criticized, particularly on women’s issues and his private business practices. It is unreasonable for Tom to complain: his views on taxes, social safety net, and other matters, which amount to an attack on the well being of 99% of his constituents, provide critics just cause. Even his complaint about criticism over missing the VAWA vote seems weak as he chose to hide his real reason from his constituents.

    I wish Tom would explain his view and how he plans to vote on important matters in advance of the vote. Other representatives do this consistently. Concerning the “Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act” (HR 1797), we will probably have to wait for the vote. My prediction is that Tom will join his party in a party-line vote.


  3. Deb meeker says:

    And woe be unto Mr.Reed if should vote “yea”. Women in NY are already riled up about the stalling being seen on Governor Cuomo’s 10 point plan, by state Republicans. We aren’t as “lady-like” as might be expected by those who seek to make our health decisions for us.


  4. William R. Hungerford says:

    Gov. Cuomo has been successful with some legislation he favors, but his method is obscure. Was impartial redistricting the price of marriage reform, and, if so, was it worth it? Are point 1 and points 2-10 intended both to pass, both to fail, or one to be traded for the other? Is point 1 a lightning rod for GOP indignation allowing the rest to sail through? Are casinos part of a deal? Who knows.


  5. Pingback: The REVISED Proposed House Abortion Bill | New NY 23rd

  6. Deb Meeker says:

    I think you’re right William, upping the ante on abortion in Gov. Cuomo’s bill may have been the loss leader, so the other side of the aisle could kick and scream, then tell their base they ‘got’ something when that part is dropped. The Governor had a rating in the 70s until the SAFE Act. Now I believe it’s in the 40’s, so he may have lost quite a bit of bargaining power due to that .


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