Hanna sole New York Republican to oppose House abortion bill

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Republican Rep. Richard Hanna of Oneida County broke from party ranks Tuesday to vote against proposed legislation that would ban abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy except for victims of rape or incest who have reported the crime to authorities.
Six Democrats joined most Republicans in supporting the controversial legislation, which passed the House 228-196. The other five Republicans in the New York delegation — Reps. Chris Collins, Chris Gibson, Michael Grimm, Peter King and Tom Reed — voted for the legislation.
Hanna was one of six Republicans – including New Jersey Reps. Jon Runyan and Rodney Frelinghuysen – who opposed the measure.
Hanna supports abortion rights, but noted in a statement that he does oppose so-called partial birth abortions.
“I was unable to support this legislation because it would cast aside exception for the health of the mother, and it fails to adequately account for unique circumstances that can arise after 20 weeks because every pregnancy is different,’’ he said in a statement posted on his congressional website.
Hanna also said the proposed federal legislation would be more restrictive that New York law.
House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, praised his colleagues for passing the measure, which he said makes “a strong statement that all life is precious.’’
“The recent conviction of Kermit Gosnell shed the light of intense public scrutiny on the gruesome practice of late term abortion,’’ Boehner said, describing the bill as “the most significant pro-life legislation to come before Congress since enactment of the ban on partial-birth abortions.’’
However, Senate Democrats won’t take up the bill, making its enactment into law impossible during the 113th Congress.
Ten House lawmakers did not vote on the bill, including Democratic Rep. Carolyn McCarthy of Long Island.
The remaining 20 Democrats in the New York delegation all opposed the legislation, including several who issued statements critical of the GOP for even raising the issue.
“This bill disregards Roe v. Wade and seeks to roll back the clock on women’s rights,’’ said Rep. Nita Lowey, D-Harrison. “It would shame the victims of rape by requiring them to file police reports in order to preserve their constitutionally-protected right to reproductive choice, prevent adult victims of incest from accessing medical services, and put compassionate doctors who help victims of rape and incest under the threat of prosecution.’’
Democratic Rep. Louise Slaughter of Fairport spoke at length on the House floor.
“Today, instead of focusing on creating jobs and improving our economy, the House majority is once again playing doctor and trying to tell American women what they can and can’t do, despite what the Constitution tells them they can do,’’ Slaughter said. “House Republicans need to abandon their war on women and start working on the issues Americans care about.”

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