To coincide with the 42nd anniversary of Roe Vs. Wade, pro-lifers were promised, by House leaders they just helped elect and re-elect, that there would be a vote on a bill that would ban abortions after 20 weeks — that’s five months — gestation. It’s called the Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Act because there is now lots of research showing that unborn babies feel pain at 20 weeks, maybe earlier.
One of the clearest trends shown in Gallup polling is that Americans oppose late term abortion. Passing the fetal pain bill should not have been a hard call for the newly-strengthened Republican majority. The DC news outlet, The Hill, reports that the House spent weeks coordinating its vote on the 20-week abortion ban legislation with the national March for Life Rally which was to take place on the 42nd anniversary of the Roe Vs. Wade decision. The bill had 100 co-sponsors and was expected to sail through the House.
But it never even got a vote. A couple of so-called “pro life” female members of Congress withdrew their sponsorship of the bill and organized opposition to a provision in the legislation. Its passage was then in doubt.
The sticking point in the bill was a requirement that women, who seek an exception to the ban because they were raped, back up their claim with a police report. This is a big deal because, if no police report is required, the proposed law has no effect. The abortionist could just check the box that says the abortion was performed due to a rape. Late term abortionists — think Kermit Gosnell — would have no problem with that bit of deception.
The House passed a ban with this reporting language in it in 2013. Rep. Renee Elmers of North Carolina and Rep. Jackie Walorski of Indiana, who pushed for this requirement to be stripped out, had no problem with it back then. It’s puzzling that they waited to pick this fight until a couple of days before the vote.
We hear they worried how the rape reporting requirement would play among women, and millennials.
There’s a silver lining. House leaders replaced the Pain Capable bill with another great piece of pro-life legislation and members passed it on the day of the March for Life. The No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act, is a permanent blanket ban on taxpayer-funded abortion across the entire government.
But it’s pathetic that the House could not pass a bill to ban late term abortions. The U.S. is one of only four nations that allows abortion up until birth. We hold that distinction with such havens for human rights as China and North Korea.
Sadly no pro-life legislation will be enacted under this Administration. But, we’ve gotta ask, if Republicans couldn’t get such a popular bill passed, what can we expect when they face really tough legislative battles? Congress should quickly pass the Pain Capable bill.