House GOP Abruptly Drops Abortion Bill Debate 


It looks like some of their whackadoodle war on reproductive rights isn’t off to such a great start for the GOP.

According to the Associated Press, Republicans in the House have decided to bail on plans to debate a completely ridiculous abortion bill that would ban almost all late-term abortions on Wednesday. It turns out, objections from their own party (including GOP women) are the reason why they made the abrupt decision.

As we reported earlier on Wednesday, the “Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Act,” included language that moderate GOP lawmakers, many of them women, (including Rep. Renee Ellmers of North Carolina and Rep. Jackie Walorski of Indiana) took issue with. Most notably, they objected to the requirement that women who want an abortion because they were raped have to get a police report, which is a goddamn frightening idea, period.

According to the AP, the whole thing is kind of a mess now for the Republican party:

The decision was embarrassing for Republican leaders eager to display a united, GOP-led Congress. Republican leaders had planned to push the legislation through the House on Thursday. But after meeting repeatedly with female lawmakers and others who were unhappy with the measure, they decided late Wednesday to postpone that debate indefinitely.

It’s also embarrassing because Republican lawmakers timed the vote with the “March for Life” in DC and the anniversary of Roe v. Wade. But their planned victory over a woman’s right to control her own goddamn body was disrupted by those internal disagreements, according to CNN:

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.

Republicans like Ellmers think pushing an anti-abortion bill that is too radical will alienate young voters and women. Others in the party don’t see it that way. “Everything that I know about millennial voters, the younger voters, is that they are more pro-life than us old guys,” said Arizona GOP Rep. Trent Franks, the bill’s author.

Don’t start handing out high-fives in honor of this victory for reproductive rights just yet, because the GOP isn’t done pushing forward with their plans to limit access to abortion in any way they can.

Two senior House GOP aides tell CNN that after discussions with members on Wednesday night they are no longer voting on the late-term abortion bill and are now voting instead on a bill banning taxpayer money for abortions.

The Hyde amendment already covers that, but OK, GOP. Whatever. (Also, as repeatedly pointed out, as long as President Barack Obama sits in office there is no way whackadoodley bills like this would not get automatically vetoed by him.) “We’re just figuring out the best way to get it passed in the long run. We will figure that out,” said Missouri Rep. Vicky Hartzler, one of the few lawmakers who would speak to CNN about the dissension.

Two steps forward and 80 steps back, I guess.

Image via Getty.

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