Yesterday I saw news that there won’t be a vote today on a 20-week abortion ban.
Mollie Hemingway at The Federalist gives some background in her post Why Everyone Should Be Terrified By The GOP’s Abortion Bill Debacle,
Today marks the 42nd anniversary of the Supreme Court legalizing abortion on demand throughout pregnancy. The pro-life movement commemorates this day with marches, worship services and lobbying for bills to protect unborn children. Pro-lifers were promised by the Republican leaders they just helped elect and re-elect that the House of Representatives would pass a bill today banning most abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy, a point after which infants can feel pain and survive if born prematurely.
The legislation has been passed by the House in the previous Congress and is extremely popular in national polling. “One of the clearest messages from Gallup trends,” the polling firm reported, “is that Americans oppose late-term abortion.” A Washington Post/ABC survey showed that 64 percent of Americans favor limiting abortion at 20 weeks of pregnancy or earlier. When just women were asked, the figure jumped to 71 percent. Such measures are popular among independents and Americans of various income levels.
Apparently the reason it wasn’t voted on:
Two of the representatives who caused the biggest stink about the bill were Rep. Renee Ellmers of North Carolina and Jackie Walorski of Indiana. Last week, Ellmers said she didn’t think it was a good idea to vote on the legislation so early in the session (an argument that makes no sense, but let’s put that aside). Yesterday the women pulled their sponsorship of the bill over what they said were concerns over the rape reporting requirement. And yet here are both women speaking in favor of this exact same legislation two years ago:
These women are claiming to all of a sudden be concerned about the reporting requirement — the requirement that has nearly two-to-one support among voters and the one they had no problem with just a couple of years ago. This reporting requirement would keep late-term abortion doctors like Kermit Gosnell or Leroy Carhart from simply checking a box before going ahead with the procedure. Besides, it’s one thing to seek an exception to abortion laws for victims of rape, and entirely another to think that exception must be extended until the baby exits the birth canal. This bill wouldn’t have a reporting requirement for abortions in the first five months of pregnancy.
In fact, even Democrats who think late-term abortion should be legal with no restrictions didn’t make an issue of the reporting requirement in the last two elections. Last year, support for late-term abortion hurt Democratic candidates. But now Ellmers created a controversy where non existed, hereby handing Democrats a way to fight a broadly popular bill.
This sabotage of the pro-life movement over what may have been a power struggle happens at a time when many pro-life activists have grown weary of being used by the GOP for electoral victory only to be forgotten weeks later when it’s time to vote.
This does not surprise me, disappointed certainly. The purpose of politicians is not policy but to be reelected. Even when we think the way they go about this is contrary to being reelected. So anything they see as a threat to this they will avoid. Especially since often no matter how bad they fulfilled their term, people have short memories and vote for them again.
It also does not surprise me on another level. While I’ll grant that many of them would really want to stop abortion. They often don’t have the philosophical conviction behind this. How many of these people do you think are fully pro-life? That is don’t have any exceptions regarding abortion. That would also object to IVF and to abortafacient drugs. I can’t thinks of any currently in office that believe so or at least admit it in public. Thus they can easily cave on pro-life issues since they don’t really understand the evil of murdering the innocent except in a general way.
Now if I had my limited way I think every such cowardly politician should have a troup of minstrels following them around singing of their cowardly misdeeds.
Brave G O P ran away.
Bravely ran away, away!
When danger reared its ugly head,
They bravely turned their tail and fled.
Yes, brave G O P turned about
And gallantly they chickened out.
Bravely taking to their feet
They beat a very brave retreat,
Bravest of the brave, G O P!