House Republicans, worried about losing their majority in 2016, have caved to the pro-abortion lobby.
Republicans just took over the Congress, and no less than two months later, the caucus has decided to scrub the first anti-abortion bill that would ban abortions after 20 weeks.
The late-term abortion bill was dropped because the different factions within the House GOP could not come to an agreement on the bill, as some in the group feared passing it would “alienate women voters.”
This would alienate women from voting Republican? We have two years before the next election, so what is there to worry about?
This is the same train of thought many in the moderate and establishment wing of the GOP held during the partial government shutdown in late 2013.
Back then, House and Senate Republican leadership and their supporters scoffed at the Ted Cruzes and Mike Lees of Capitol Hill, saying that their 2013 push to defund Obamacare caused the shutdown, and because of that shutdown, Republicans could lose seats in the upcoming 2014 midterm elections. We are all witnesses that this never happened, as Republicans trounced Democrats, grabbing more House seats and taking over the Senate.
Instead, the House will vote Thursday — the 42nd anniversary of the Roe v. Wade decision — on a bill that would ban the use of tax dollars for abortions, the same law that was passed by the House nearly one year ago but died in the Senate, which was then controlled by Democrats.
The substitute bill would make permanent the so-called Hyde amendment, which bans all federal money for abortion services. Currently, Congress simply renews the amendment each year, which it has done since the mid-1970s. Voting on the bill Thursday would provide Republicans with a symbolic act on the same day that the anti-abortion March for Life is scheduled to begin in Washington.
The failed bill, which reflected the idea that a fetus can feel pain at 20 weeks, would have criminalized virtually all abortions for pregnancies of 20 weeks or longer. It would offer some exceptions, including for victims of rape that have already been reported to authorities.
But some Republicans, including female members of Congress, objected to that requirement, saying that many women feel too distressed to report rapes and should not be penalized. A 2013 Justice Department report calculated that just 35 percent of rapes and sexual assaults were reported to police.
“The issue becomes, we’re questioning the woman’s word,” Rep. Renee Ellmers, R-N.C., said earlier Wednesday. “We have to be compassionate to women when they’re in a crisis situation.”
There were also objections to the bill’s exemption for minors who are victims of incest and have reported the incident.
“So the exception would apply to a 16-year-old but not a 19-year-old?” said Rep. Charles Dent, R-Pa. “I mean, incest is incest.”
Will this early House Republican infighting become an issue moving forward into the 2016 midterm elections, and will it affect the legislative mandate that Republicans received this past 2014 election cycle?