Democrats to Norton: Not Good Enough to Testify on Abortion
by Steven Ertelt | Washington, DC | LifeNews.com | 5/16/12 5:25 PM
Tomorrow, a Congressional panel will hold a hearing on a bill that would ban abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy in the nation’s capital. D.C. Congressional delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton is up in arms that she is not allowed a chance to represent the District before the hearing.
While Norton complains, she apparently has forgotten that members of Congress (she’s merely a delegate rather than a full-fledged member) do not have a right to testify before committee hearings on legislation. She also apparently is remiss in her view that Congress shouldn’t have authority over the District’s abortion law — forgetting that Congress has full purview over the District of Columbia per the Constitution.
While she grips about not being allowed a seat at the hearing table, Douglas Johnson, legislative director for the National Right to Life Committee, makes another salient point in an email to LifeNews: Democrats on the committee apparently thought so little of Norton’s ability to testify on the bill that the did not use their right to name one witness to name her to testify.
Norton’s press release also repeats a misrepresentation that she has made before, asserting that the bill “targets . . . women who live in the District of Columbia. . .” Actually, the bill contains no reference whatever to residency. It applies to acts conducted within the District, a federal jurisdiction. Under the bill, it makes no difference whether a woman seeking an abortion after 20 weeks, or the abortionist, “live in the District of Columbia.” However, it may be of interest to note that what data there is, while sketchy, suggests that the majority of abortions performed in the District are performed on non-residents.
Norton also refers to “using the women of one congressional district . . .” The District of Columbia, the seat of the federal government, is not a congressional district. Article I, Section 8 of the U.S. Constitution provides that Congress shall “exercise exclusive Legislation in all Cases whatsoever, over such District . . .”
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