Congress Ditches Vote on Abortion Bill After Internal Revolt

A very interesting and notable development in Congress, as CNN reports:

Mark it down as a rare win for House GOP moderates. After scrambling into the evening on Wednesday, House Republican leaders decided to scrap a vote on a controversial anti-abortion measure scheduled to coincide with an annual gathering of anti-abortion advocates on Thursday because they couldn't round up enough support…

…The "Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Act," is a bill banning so called "late-term abortions" — those involving procedures for women who are beyond 20 weeks into their pregnancy. Several House GOP women protested language in the bill that requires those women who seek an exception to the ban because they were raped have to back up their claim with a police report. A similar measure has passed the House in 2013, but this time some female members — including some who voted for it last time — are pushing for that requirement to be stripped out.

Discussion about the issue at a closed door meeting on Wednesday morning got so tense that congressional aides were kicked out of the meeting when the debate turned emotional, according to several GOP sources.

The internal feud placed leaders in an awkward spot, because they targeted the vote for Thursday, the same day as the March for Life in Washington and the 42nd anniversary of the landmark Supreme Court decision, Roe v. Wade, which negated state laws that prevented a woman from having an abortion based on the constitutional right to privacy.

Moderate Republican women are being credited with leading the initial backlash against this legislation, which may or may not be good for them politically. It's true that Republicans need to attract more support from women if they hope to win the White House in 2016, but the people who are really paying attention to this are the more active political folks — the kind of Republicans who vote in Primary Elections and won't be happy to know that they couldn't even bring this bill to a vote despite holding a Congressional majority.

16 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. FrankUnderwood says:

    They egg folk are gonna be really pissed off about this esp coming on the anniversary of Roe.

  2. mamajama55 says:

    Thank you, women of the GOP.

  3. DaftPunk says:

    Make no mistake.  

    This is no pro-choice awakening among the distaff members of the regressive caucus.

    This is about the electoral optics of parsing "legitimate rape."

    • FrankUnderwood says:

      That and a lot of the newbie Repubs are from blue states in the NE and Midwest, and want to be re-elected.  

      They will start getting the same trashing that Dems from red states with nuanced voting records have been getting from the Bolshevik wing of the Democratic Party.  

      • mamajama55 says:

        If I join the Dem Bolshevik wing, can I get a fur hat?

        • BlueCat says:

          I've got a Persian lamb Russian hat. My immigrant grandpa used to make them and fur coats. Yeah. I know. Fur is murder. But you can go out and shovel snow in fur in perfect toasty comfort on a zero degree day. 

      • BlueCat says:

        Exactly. Senators have to get elected statewide. The newest ones don't have to worry about a primary or election for quite some time but they all have to fund raise full time and those who won in blue states don't want to lose access to funding from big ol' chunks of their constituency. Apparently it wasn't a show of support for choice but an objection to the restriction on rape exceptions to women who had reported the rape to police. Most never do. So we can assume that if that had been changed it could have gone forward but the GOTP boys club preferred to scrap the whole thing.

        These are not pro-choice Republican women. They just thought the rape thing was so insulting to their female constituents that they'd look really bad supporting it.

  4. Diogenesdemar says:

    "Moderate Republican Women".  Love it.  (Love unicorns too, btw!)

    Anyway, I can get hear the Boehner boys — "Women?!? Huh!  What could women possibly know about reproduction?!?"

    Thank god we've got my new representative, Ken Buck, to work to set those womenfolk straight . . . 

  5. Conserv. Head Banger says:

    There's a slightly less onerous version of the bill moving forward this afternoon in the House. Bill also creates a tax hike for most small businesses as they can't take a tax credit on health insurance provided to employees if it includes coverage for abortions, or something like that.

    So much for Republicans being a supporter of small businesses; businesses that create the majority of new jobs in this country.

    As a real conservative, I call for a new mantra in this country: get YOUR friggin' religion out of MY bedroom.    C.H.B.

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