Republicans on the House Judiciary Committee marked up legislation this morning that would further restrict abortions in the District.
Each year, city officials are currently restricted by Congress from using local taxpayer funds to assist low income women with abortions. This new effort would make that permanent. Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-D.C.) says it's an affront to women in the District.
"This bill moves its sponsors from extremism to fanaticism," Norton says. "It's as if they sat down at the beginning of the term — and remember we are in the beginning — and said, 'What haven't we done to try to eliminate a woman's right to chose?'"
The legislation also includes incentives for businesses to drop abortion coverage and it levies tax penalties against some women who receive abortions, which Holmes Norton calls hypocritical.
"And look at what the anti-tax Republicans have found? A way to use tax penalties on individuals and small businesses that dare to allow abortion in their coverage," she says.
While the abortion debate was raging at the Capitol, across the street at the Supreme Court justices heard oral arguments over whether bufferzones violated an anti-abortion protester's free speech rights.