In an in-district call campaign to urge members of the House to vote on a bill that would ban abortions past the fifth month of pregnancy, pro-lifers led by the Susan B. Anthony List (SBA List) have made nearly 9,000 calls to their representatives, with another wave of activist calls announced on Wednesday.
According to a press release, the next wave of calls to 35 key congressional district offices is timed as the second anniversary of the murder conviction of late-term abortionist Kermit Gosnell approaches next week. In May of 2013, Gosnell, whose “house of horrors” late-term abortion clinic was ignored by the state of Pennsylvania and Planned Parenthood officials, was convicted of the murder of three newborn babies, whom he killed with scissors, and negligence in the death of a patient.
A month after Gosnell’s conviction, the House passed the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, 228-196. The Senate, however, was still in the hands of the Democrats and former Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid did not allow the Pain-Capable bill to come up for a vote.
With a Republican Senate in charge as of January of this year, national pro-life groups were confident of a swift passage of the bill in the House once again, and likely approval by the Senate. On the eve of the March for Life in late January, however, the Pain-Capable bill was pulled from the House floor when GOP leadership caved to a group of Republicans led by Rep. Renee Ellmers (R-NC) who said the language of the bill needed to be altered with regard to a rape reporting requirement. Ellmers expressed concern that, left as is – in the form in which she voted for the bill two years earlier – the bill could cost the GOP votes from women and millennials.
According to World, the bill was actually in trouble two weeks before the March for Life, as Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) urged that the bill be pulled:
On Jan. 13, 12 more Republicans co-sponsored the bill, but Blackburn was already advocating for pulling it. Majority Whip Steve Scalise called a late afternoon meeting with the dissenting women, led by Blackburn, Missouri Rep. Ann Wagner, Indiana Rep. Jackie Walorski, and Wyoming Rep. Cynthia Lummis. It resolved nothing.
The next morning, Jan. 14, North Carolina’s Ellmers chaired a prescheduled meeting of the Republican Women’s Policy Committee, and every woman present (though not all 23 in the conference) supported altering the bill. That day 16 more Republicans signed on as co-sponsors—including North Carolina Rep. Virginia Foxx—pushing the total to 156 as the House and Senate GOP conferences traveled to Hershey, Pa., for their first joint retreat in a decade.
Ellmers continued to draw the ire of the pro-life base of the Republican Party when she took to her blog days after the bill was pulled to defend herself, as she also referred to pro-life groups as “abhorrent” and “childish.”
In April, Ellmers added yet another qualification for the draft of the measure to be acceptable, this one for incest. The original language – which she voted in favor of in 2013 – allowed only minors who were victims of incest as an exception for late-term abortion. The language Ellmers seeks now 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.”
To date, though House leadership has not called for a vote on the Pain-Capable measure, 14 declared and potential GOP presidential candidates are on record in support of the bill.
The United States, China, North Korea and Canada are the only nations in the world that permit abortion for any reason after viability.
“Pro-life activists across the country have been making thousands of calls to Congress on behalf of the children and women being targeted by the late-term abortion industry,” said president of SBA List Marjorie Dannenfelser. “They are frustrated by the delay on this popular, modest legislation, but remain unified in support of a vote.”
“This barbarism, brought into the national spotlight by the Gosnell trial in 2013, is a degradation to our nation,” she added. “As the two year anniversary of Gosnell’s conviction approaches, we repeat our call to the House GOP to schedule an immediate vote on the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act.”
House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy’s office did not immediately respond to Breitbart News’ request for comment on the scheduling of the vote on the bill.