WASHINGTON, May 21, 2012, ( – Banning abortion on children old enough to feel pain would make people feel more morally justified in opposing abortion as “murder,” and would therefore create negative feelings toward late-term abortionists, said one D.C. abortionist on Monday.

Washington-based abortionist Willie Parker told The Washington Post‘s Sarah Kliff that a Congressional measure banning abortion on children older than 20 weeks in the District of Columbia would jeopardize late-term abortionists and stigmatize them as “callous.”


“These laws put providers in a position where they have to turn away patients who have great need. I also think they create this impression that abortion providers are callous and allow people to conflate murder and abortion,” Parker said.

“People feel morally justified to say ‘this is wrong’ because they’re led to think it’s close to murder. I think that jeopardizes us, by conflating abortion with an issue that would cause moral outrage.”

Congress is currently debating tighter restrictions on the nation’s capital. The U.S. House of Representatives on Thursday held a hearing on H.R. 3803, the District of Columbia Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act introduced by Rep. Trent Franks, R-AZ. Under the U.S. Constitution, Congress sets policy in the city.

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The bill would follow seven U.S. states in challenging the boundaries set by the U.S. Supreme Court by Roe v. Wade, which declared a constitutional right to abortion at any point before the child is viable outside the womb, a threshold usually placed at 22-24 weeks.

Parker said such a measure “vilifies the women who might need an abortion the most.”

Parker said he was inspired to begin performing abortions when he “thought a lot about what Dr. [Martin Luther] King has said about having concern for other people,” and downplayed concerns about the risk to his own safety from the pro-life movement. “I was more concerned about what might happen to them than what might happen to me. And I feel like that’s an appropriate value system to operate around,” he said.