Even though they overwhelmingly passed it last session,a year they knew it would never get passed the Senate, and they have an even greater majority now, the House GOP is scrapping the 20 Week Fetal Pain Abortion Ban because they are afraid.
House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R., Calif.) met Wednesday evening with Representative Marsha Blackburn (R., Tenn.) and other Republican women to ameliorate a last-minute revolt against a 20-week abortion ban that passed the last Congress with overwhelming GOP support.
He couldn’t convince the lawmakers, so, House GOP leadership is canceling a vote that was scheduled to coincide with the March for Life and the anniversary of the Roe vs. Wade decision.
“I’m honestly stunned — what a complete and utter debacle,” says one Republican lawmaker who supports the legislation. The sticking point: “reporting requirements,” as they’re known on the Hill. In short, the bill bans abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy — when the in utero infant can feel pain — except in cases of rape, incest, or for the life of the mother. But to benefit from the rape and incest exception, the victim has to report the crime to law enforcement.
President Obama criticized that provision as “demonstrating a complete disregard for the women who experience sexual assault and the barriers they may face in reporting,” such as fear of retaliation from their attackers. “Research indicates that the majority of survivors have not reported their sexual assaults to law enforcement,” his statement of administration policy says.
That line of attack worries some Republicans. “There seems to be a fear of Dem attack ads, which is odd for an issue that is 2:1 in our favor,” the GOP lawmaker says.