Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) defended legislation Tuesday that would ban abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy, saying that “science is on our side and public opinion is on our side.”
The legislation is slated to be voted on Tuesday and is expected to pass the GOP-controlled House, but fail in the Senate.
“We are incredibly concerned about the well-being, safety, the health of these women. The life of women. And these babies. That is why we are doing this,” Blackburn said in an interview with Craig Melvin on MSNBC. “The trial of Kermit Gosnell, the information that has subsequently come from other state, public opinion said something needs to be done about this. So you know, Craig, this is one of those issues where science is on our side and public opinion is on our side.”
Blackburn, who is not the bill’s sponsor, will be managing it on the floor. The bill’s actual sponsor, Rep. Trent Franks (R-AZ), received intense backlash for saying last week that the rate of pregnancy from rape was “very low.” A rape and incest exemption that applies only if the rape or incest has been reported, has since been added to the legislation.
When host Melvin asked Blackburn Tuesday if the measure was purely symbolic and an act of pandering given the fact that it is unlikely the Senate would take it up or the president would sign it, Blackburn responded with an “absolutely not.”
“No, it is not pandering at all. It is saving the life of women and of babies pandering?” Blackburn asked. “Absolutely not.”
Blackburn penned an op-ed in Politico Tuesday outlining her position in more detail.