Under the Dome

Vote expected on abortion bill in Congress this week

Congress is expected to vote this week on a bill that would ban abortions after 20 weeks. All 10 members of North Carolina’s Republican congressional delegation support the bill, according to the North Carolina Values Coalition.

The vote is expected on Thursday, the 42nd anniversary of Roe v. Wade and the same day that an annual March for Life anti-abortion demonstration occurs in Washington. Major anti-abortion groups met with Republican leaders in November to urge them to vote on that day, according to Politico.com. The bill is H.R. 36.

The significance of the 20-week cutoff is that supporters of the bill point to research showing fetuses can feel pain at that stage. But it is not a settled medical question and remains controversial.

Tami Fitzgerald, executive director of the N.C. Values Coalition, praised support of North Carolina members of Congress.

“We are especially grateful to Congresswoman Renee Ellmers and Congresswoman Virginia Foxx who continue to be strong and unwavering female voices in support of women and their unborn children,” Fitzgerald said in a statement.

NARAL Pro-Choice America, which advocates for a woman’s right to choose, issued a report on Friday saying the groups behind the legislation and the demonstration have what it called a far more extreme agenda, including banning abortion for any reason.