A House committee is scheduled to vote on a bill that would ban abortions in the District of Columbia after 20 weeks of pregnancy.
The bill is based on the disputed claim that fetuses can feel pain at a gestational age of 20 weeks or older. It's being pushed by the National Right to Life Committee, an anti-abortion group. The NRLC has made the bill its top legislative priority on Capitol Hill this year. Nine states have passed similar legislation.
District leaders oppose the bill as an intrusion on the district's self-rule. Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton, a Democrat who represents the district in Congress, says the bill is part of a nationwide effort to undermine a woman's constitutional right to an abortion.
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