In1972, Del. Walter Fauntroy and other activists from the District helped mobilize voters in South Carolina to defeat Rep. John McMillan (D), the obstinate chairman of the House District of Columbia Committee.
Modern advocates for home rule still look back fondly at that victory, and no
w some are trying to use that tactic again, by taking their fight to the home turf of a lawmaker they believe is improperly meddling in local affairs.
On Thursday, the group DC Vote is staging a protest outside the Glendale district office of Arizona Rep. Trent Franks (R), the lead sponsor of a measure that would ban all abortions in the District after 20 weeks accept to protect the life of the mother.
Franks’ bill, the District of Columbia Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, is one of the top priorities of the national anti-abortion movement in this Congress. But it has drawn sharp opposition from D.C. leaders, who consider it an unfair intrusion into what they believe should be a locally decided issue.
In addition to the protest, DC Vote is also running ads in Arizona and the District with the message, “Congressman Franks, don’t be a wiener! Stay out of DC’s laws and focus on Arizona.” The ad includes a photo of Franks’ head superimposed on top of a hot dog.
Franks occupies a safe seat, so he is unlikely to suffer the same fate McMillan did four decades ago. But DC Vote at least hopes to raise awareness of the abortion issue, both here and in Arizona.