A group of national pro-life leaders is calling on House leadership to vote for a bill that would ban abortions past the fifth month of pregnancy in the United States. After a three-month delay since the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act was pulled from the House floor, leaders say it is time to vote on it.
They said the following in a press statement released Wednesday at the Susan B. Anthony List:
Today marks three months since a scheduled vote on landmark pro-life legislation, the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, was delayed by the House GOP. This legislation protects women and their unborn children after 20 weeks, or 5 months of pregnancy, from painful and dangerous late-term abortions. It is a simple, compassionate proposal supported by a large majority of Americans, including women and young people.
The babies and mothers being targeted by the late-term abortion industry have waited long enough for protection. We call on the House GOP to schedule an immediate vote on the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act.
The Senate stands ready to take up this legislation. A vote on this popular, modest bill will serve as a benchmark as to whether the House GOP is serious about protecting unborn babies and women.
The statement is signed by the following pro-life leaders:
- Marjorie Dannenfelser, President, Susan B. Anthony List
- Tony Perkins, President, Family Research Council
- Penny Young Nance, CEO and President, Concerned Women for America
- Jeanne Mancini, President, March for Life
- Janet Morana, Co-Founder, Silent No More Awareness Campaign
- Fr. Frank Pavone, National Director, Priests for Life
- Charmaine Yoest, President & CEO, Americans United for Life
- Kristan Hawkins, President, Students for Life of America
- Brian Burch, President, CatholicVote.org
- Dr. Russell Moore, President, Southern Baptist Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission
“I think they still want to do it, but there are different levels of want,” said Dannenfelser in an interview with Breitbart News. “The question is, what are you willing to do to get what you want?”
Dannenfelser said the pro-life community has done its job to gain support for the bill.
“Now it’s up to our leaders in Congress, it’s completely in their hands,” she said. “Nothing is changed; everything is the same as it was in January. This is the most pro-life Congress we’ve ever had, so it should be able to get done.”
Similarly, Rep. Tim Huelskamp (R-KS) sent the following email statement to Breitbart News: “A promise made should be a promise kept.”
As the press release indicates, Wednesday marked three months to the day since the March for Life on the national mall in Washington, D.C. was supposed to be a day of special celebration for the pro-life base of the Republican Party. The House was slated to pass the Pain-Capable bill to coincide with the March, and then move the bill along to a newly Republican-led Senate that could also pass the measure.
On that day, however, hundreds of thousands of pro-lifers discovered that GOP leadership had pulled the bill, caving to Rep. Renee Ellmers (R-NC) and some colleagues, including Rep. Jackie Walorski (R-IN), who said they objected to language in the bill that had already passed the House in 2013.
Ellmers, the Republican Women’s Policy Committee chairman, later expressed concern that a rape-reporting requirement in the bill might turn off women and millennials to the GOP. When faced with the ire of the GOP’s pro-life base, Ellmers dug her heels in further by taking to her blog and defending herself by smearing the pro-lifers as “abhorrent” and “childish.”
Last week, Ellmers added yet another qualification for the bill to be acceptable — this one for incest. The original language — which Ellmers voted in favor of in 2013 — allowed only minors who were victims of incest as an exception for late-term abortion. As of last week, she was touting language that would allow late-term abortions for women of any age who claim they became pregnant as a result of incest.
“Incest is incest. There can’t really be a cutoff age,” Ellmers told the National Journal. “That was, I thought, not well thought out.”
A Quinnipiac poll conducted in November of 2014 found that 60 percent of Americans support the Pain-Capable bill, including 56 percent of independents and 46 percent of Democrats.
As the press release indicates, 14 states have enacted Pain-Capable laws, and 14 “declared and potential GOP presidential candidates have signed on in support” of the measure.
One of those candidates, Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) said the following at the SBA List Gala last week:
Now some have said to me, they’ve said, “Well, you’re big on all this liberty stuff, why do you want to restrict a woman’s right to choose?” And I say, “Well, you know what, the government does have some role in our lives. One of the main roles the government has is to restrict you from harming another individual.” Which gets us back to the original debate, when life beings there is a role for state. So it’s not that I’m against people choosing things, I’m in fact one of the biggest believers in choice and liberty, but you can’t have liberty if you don’t protect where your liberty originates from and that’s your right to life.
Breitbart News’ requests for comments from House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, regarding whether the Pain-Capable bill would be rescheduled, and Reps. Ellmers and Walorski, did not receive an immediate response.