Republican Rep. Renée Ellmers is pushing to get a seat on the new House Select Investigative Panel that will investigate Planned Parenthood’s organ-selling business, even though she blocked a popular pro-life bill in early 2015.
In January, Ellmers got the GOP’s House leadership to withdraw the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act – a measure that would ban abortions after the fifth month of pregnancy – on the eve of the annual March for Life in Washington, D.C. She objected to rape-reporting language in the bill, even though it was the same language she voted for in 2013 when the bill passed the House.
“The North Carolina congresswoman has thoroughly discredited herself with pro-lifers [and] she is angling for a position on a committee that will investigate Planned Parenthood,” said a statement from Kristan Hawkins, president of Students for Life of America. “What a complete farce.”
Ellmers is facing a primary battle next year.
According to RedState, “House insiders have indicated to RedState that Rep. Renee Ellmers is angling hard to be on the [new] committee” which will investigate Planned Parenthood’s practice of selling organs cut from aborted babies. The group gets at least $400 million a year in federal contracts, grants and funds.
The Redstate report continues:
The reasons for Ellmers’ desire to be on the committee are obvious: Ellmers publicly betrayed the pro-life movement during the embarrassing debacle over the 20-week abortion ban – a bill which enjoyed broad, bipartisan support but which failed due to the political cowardice of Ellmers and others. Ellmers already knows that due to this and a number of other high profile votes, she is likely to face a stiff primary challenge as one of the most high profile faces of Republican Failure Theater.
Hawkins, who brought more than 70 young women to Rep. Ellmers’ office to protest her stance on the Pain-Capable bill during the March for Life, said in her statement:
“Congresswoman Renee Ellmers had her chance to put into action her supposedly pro-life beliefs but instead she torpedoed a bill that would have banned abortions after 20 weeks gestation, blaming Millennials – my generation and the generation that Students for Life of America works most closely with – for their lack of support of the measure. Rep. Ellmers’ bogus excuse for not supporting something that has broad support among Americans was a slap in the face to the hundreds of thousands of young Millennials who were in Washington, DC that day for the March for Life – and whose age group actually supports the ban the most. Because of Rep. Ellmers’ lack of courage, conviction and fortitude, pro-lifers failed to even get a vote on that bill for months and months…
In an open letter after the backlash after the March for Life, she actually called the tactics of pro-life groups ‘childish and abhorrent’ – now she wants our support? If House leadership listen to her pitiful request, it will be a slap in the face to pro-lifers everywhere who have worked day and night to elect officials who hold life to be the most important right and who have fought for pro-life bills and against spineless representatives who would rather let tiny babies be pulled apart and dismembered than take an unmovable stance for those cannot speak for themselves.”
One week before half a million activists from the Republican pro-life base descended upon the national mall – and what they thought would be a celebration of the House passage of the Pain-Capable bill – Ellmers told the National Journal she was concerned about the political effects on Republicans if the vote on the bill moved forward, citing potential GOP losses with millennials.
“I have urged leadership to reconsider bringing it up next week…We got into trouble last year, and I think we need to be careful again; we need to be smart about how we’re moving forward,” Ellmers said. “The first vote we take, or the second vote, or the fifth vote, shouldn’t be on an issue where we know that millennials—social issues just aren’t as important [to them].”
Once the bill was pulled from the House floor, pro-life activists expressed their rage at Ellmers, who subsequently took to her blog and referred to them as “abhorrent” and “childish.”
“[I] am appalled by the abhorrent and childish behaviors from some of the leaders of the outside groups,” Ellmers wrote.
As RedState continues:
Rep. Renee Ellmers already had a chance to do something for the pro-life movement, on a bill that’s much more popular than defunding Planned Parenthood, and she blinked. She does not have legitimate interest in defunding Planned Parenthood or taking any actual substantive action against them. What she wants is television commercial material during her upcoming primary campaign.
After much delay and controversy, the House passed the Pain-Capable bill in May, on the eve of the anniversary of the murder conviction of abortionist Kermit Gosnell.
Next year, nevertheless, Ellmers will once again face Republican primary challenger, economist Frank Roche, who won more than 42 percent of the 2014 primary vote in the district, even though he had only $50,000 raised for his campaign.
On Wednesday, the House approved H. Res. 461, a resolution establishing the select panel – part of the Committee on Energy and Commerce – to investigate Planned Parenthood after undercover videos published by the Center for Medical Progress exposed senior Planned Parenthood officials apparently discussing the sale of body parts from aborted babies.
Hawkins said she and her group demand that House leadership “refuse Rep. Ellmers’ request” to be a member of the House panel.
“The young women who I brought to Rep. Ellmers office the day of the March for Life were fiercely pro-life and had a message for the congresswoman: ‘Don’t use us for your agenda,’” she added. “We are the pro-life generation and we recognize true leaders when they stand up and fight for what is right.”