WASHINGTON (CBSDC/AP) — A House committee is scheduled to vote on a bill that would ban abortions in the District of Columbia after 20 weeks of pregnancy.

The bill is based on the disputed claim that fetuses can feel pain at a gestational age of 20 weeks or older. It’s being pushed by the National Right to Life Committee, an anti-abortion group. The NRLC has made the bill its top legislative priority on Capitol Hill this year. Nine states have passed similar legislation.

The bill is sponsored by House Republican Trent Franks of Arizona.

District leaders oppose the bill as an intrusion on the district’s self-rule. Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton, a Democrat who represents the district in Congress, says the bill is part of a nationwide effort to undermine a woman’s constitutional right to an abortion.

“Since this bill was introduced, it has been clear that far-right Republicans, like school-yard bullies, would gang up on the District to attack the women of this country,” Norton said in a statement.

(TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)


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