Press Releases

20 Week Abortion Ban Attacks Women’s Health and Autonomy, Threatens Providers with Federal Prison

National Council of Jewish Women
1707 L Street NW, Suite 950
Washington, DC 20036-4206

Contact: Amanda Lang
Director of Marketing and Communications


20 Week Abortion Ban Attacks Women’s Health and Autonomy,
Threatens Providers with Federal Prison

October 3, 2017, Washington, DC – The National Council of Jewish Women (NCJW) today denounced passage by the House of Representatives of a nationwide ban on abortions at 20 weeks or later (HR 36), regardless of the pregnant woman’s health or the viability of the fetus. NCJW CEO Nancy K. Kaufman released the following statement:

“Once again the US House of Representatives has passed a bill — HR 36 — that would ban all abortions at 20 weeks or later except when a woman’s very life is at stake. The bill as passed attacks women’s moral and religious autonomy and handcuffs doctors under the threat of imprisonment from practicing medicine in their patients’ best interest.

“The House bill purports to make an exception for instances of rape and incest, but imposes unwieldy and unreasonable restrictions that appear designed mainly to prevent women from exercising their rights. HR 36 seeks to intimidate medical professionals by criminalizing care — threatening up to five years in federal prison if the law is somehow violated. Women who experience complex health situations regarding pregnancy need care from the medical professionals they trust — not interference from politicians who presume to know better.

“In all matters involving abortion, more affluent, mainly white women have access to the means to obtain an abortion otherwise unavailable to women of color, immigrants, women struggling to make ends meet, and young women, to say nothing of those women living in the 87 percent of counties across the country who have no abortion provider at all.

“The House bill is not a sincere effort to protect women but is rather yet another battle in the campaign to dismantle abortions rights — a campaign that has lasted nearly 45 years since Roe v. Wade, the year that the Supreme Court affirmed a woman’s right to choose abortion. If the bill becomes law, it would certainly have a chilling effect on the provision of abortion care in the US, which is exactly what its extreme, anti-abortion supporters intend.
HR 36 must be defeated. A president sits in the White House ready to sign it.”

The National Council of Jewish Women (NCJW) is a grassroots organization of volunteers and advocates who turn progressive ideals into action. Inspired by Jewish values, NCJW strives for social justice by improving the quality of life for women, children, and families and by safeguarding individual rights and freedoms. More information on Facebook and on Twitter at @NCJW.


More News and Updates