Democrats to Norton: Not Good Enough to Testify on Abortion

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   May 16, 2012   |   5:25PM   |   Washington, DC

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.

The Democrats on the House Judiciary Constitution Subcommittee had a discretionary witness slot for the May 17 hearing on H.R. 3803, the bill to prohibit abortion of pain-capable unborn children, after 20 weeks, in the District. The Democrats could have used that slot to invite Norton, or to invite any other person they chose to discuss the implications of the bill for “D.C. autonomy,” if they really thought that “D.C. autonomy” was the primary issue raised by this bill. But instead, the Democrats invited a woman who had a late abortion. Apparently, then, the Democrats in Congress who are really calling the shots — or the pro-abortion activist lobbyists who advise them what shots to call — think that this bill and this hearing are, first and foremost, about late abortions, not about “D.C. autonomy.” And we agree.
In fact, we have found that many lawmakers are shocked to learn that in the nation’s capital, abortion is legal for any reason, to the moment of birth. Lawmakers who find this policy indefensible will be well advised to support this bill, because Article I of the Constitution makes it perfectly clear that the responsibility for the policy rests solely on them — and on the President.
I noticed that Norton’s press release again employed one of her favorite phrases, “bullying tactics.” In my book, abortionists are the ultimate bullies — they pull the arms and legs off babies who are a lot smaller than they are:

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 . . .”