Why were D.C. residents gathered outside Representative Trent Franks (R-Arizona) office this week? Residents mobilized by DC Vote protested against Franks’ bill that would disallow abortions in D.C. after 20 weeks, and the fact that he didn’t allow Delegate Norton to speak at the hearing. If Franks wants to ignore our Home Rule and stamp Arizona politics on D.C. residents then why shouldn’t we ask him to address other constituent concerns, like metro repairs and broken street lights?
On the Rachel Maddow Show, Del. Norton called Franks’ bill a “straight-out cowardly case of bullying.” She said:
Here you have a bill that affects only my district, no other districts in the United States, which signals out to the residents of the District of Columbia and says, ‘You women will not be subject to the constitutional mandate of Roe versus Wade. You alone can have an abortion only until 20 weeks. By the way, don’t talk to us about how this violates the 14th Amendment as well, which treats you differently from women in other states. Not only are we going to try to impose that on you, but we don’t want to hear from the only voice you have in the house, you have no voice in the senate; we shut her up, so we don’t hear from D.C. residents at all.
This issue reminds Washingtonians of the ways in which the federal has been meddling with our affairs for years. For instance, passing same-sex marriage legislation was a great victory but it only marked the beginning of a longer fight we are reminded of today. The District’s status as a non-state means that opponents of marriage equality can wait for a more friendly Congress to prohibit same-sex marriage from taking place. Legislation already in place, including rights to have a safe abortion, that is threatened allows us the opportunity to defend and demand something finally be done about an injustice – taxation without representation.
Norton said to Maddow: “[L]et me tell you something about us, we know how to fight back.”