A swarm of Washington, D.C., residents descended on Rep. Trent Franks' (R-Ariz.) Capitol Hill office on Wednesday to drop off plastic rats, pictures of potholes, unfair parking tickets and other representations of municipal problems in protest of the D.C. abortion ban he sponsored.
Franks recently introduced a bill that would ban abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy in D.C. and denied D.C.'s only elected representative, Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D), from testifying at the hearing on the bill. The incident sparked debates about D.C.'s lack of voting representation in Congress, since Norton does not have a vote.
Wednesday's protest was organized by DC Vote, an advocacy group dedicated to securing full representation for D.C. in Congress, and Planned Parenthood of Metropolitan Washington. One by one, about 50 protesters knocked on the door of Franks' office, and then spoke a few words about a problem in the city that they think "Mayor Franks" should address if he's going to be writing laws that affect D.C. residents.
"My issue today is Metro -- full funding for Metro," said Jon Ozment, a 56-year-old D.C. resident. "As a constituent here, I use Metro all the time, my children use it, and it's really disgraceful the condition they've allowed Metro to get to."
"I have to say I'm very disappointed today," he added. "I really wanted to meet my representative, Mr. Franks. He's supposed to be representing us and I did take some time to come in here today, so I hope he takes these concerns into account."
Franks' office did not respond to HuffPost's request for comment.
Franks told the Washington City Paper last week that D.C. residents who were upset about representation issues were "missing the point."
"District of Columbia is not the issue here," Franks said. "It's the pain of the child, and when people make the District of Columbia the issue they're missing the point."
Douglas Johnson, legislative director for the National Right to Life Committee (NRLC), fired back at the D.C. protesters in an email to HuffPost later Wednesday.
"The local demonstrators say, in effect, that the federal capital city belongs to them and that the rest of America should just shut up," he said. "But the U.S. Constitution makes it crystal clear that the District of Columbia belongs to all of the American people, and is to be governed by the Congress and the president."
This article has been updated to reflect comment from the National Right to Life Committee.
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