Barbara Boxer: The Right to Abortion 'Is Not Infinite'

By Elizabeth Harrington | July 10, 2013 | 5:58pm EDT

Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) (Penny Starr/

( – Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) would not say whether she would support prohibiting abortions at some point beyond 20 weeks—including up to 40 weeks—but told to read Roe v. Wade, adding, “I think you’ll feel better.”

Boxer also said that "a woman's right to choose is not infinite."

Surrounded by members of Planned Parenthood, Boxer appeared at a press conference organized by Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.) on Wednesday, to oppose a bill that recently passed in the House banning abortions after 5 months.

Following the event, asked the senators, “Would you support prohibiting abortion after 40 weeks … or at any point?”

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“I don’t know that you’ve ever read Roe v. Wade, but it definitely does, in fact, say a woman’s right to choose is not infinite, it’s before viability,” Boxer said.  “So what you’re talking about doesn’t really make sense.”

“I suggest that you read Roe v. Wade because it’s a very balanced decision,” she said.  “And what we’re here for, and I think it’s very important, is to say we have a bill that doctors tell us unanimously is dangerous to women and we’re going to tell you and everybody else here from the media and the public that we’re going to fight it and we’re going to use every ounce of fiber we have to fight it and we thank you very much.”

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When tried to follow up, asking if the senators would support a ban on elective abortions after 20 weeks, neither Boxer nor Murray would answer.

“It was settled in Roe v. Wade, as Senator Boxer very explicitly said,” Murray said.

“Just read it,” Boxer said, “I think you’ll feel better.”

The House passed the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act (H.R. 1797) on June 18, which would ban abortions 20 weeks post-fertilization, or 5 months into pregnancy.

On Wednesday, Murray said her opposition to the bill is about “protecting lives.”

“What we’re talking about is protecting the lives and choices of women across this country to make their own health care decision,” she said.  “We are listening to doctors, we are listening to women themselves and many men who are saying we have a right to make our own health care decisions.”

“The law is settled, as Sen. [Richard] Blumenthal [D-Conn.] talked so eloquently about, the courts have settled this case, and we’re here to defend that,” Murray said.

Blumenthal said the presence of Planned Parenthood, which performed 333,964 abortions in 2011—or one every 94 seconds—at the press conference brought him “energy and strength.”

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