The disgusting stunt pulled by Democrat Republican [mc_name name=’Rep. Renee Ellmers (R-NC)’ chamber=’house’ mcid=’E000291′ ] in torpedoing a piece of pro-life legislation has been covered by my colleagues Erick (here | here) and Leon (here). The long and the short is that she fought tooth and nail to kill a the bill, then, when it was obvious that the bill was going to be pulled — and the heat ratcheted up — she proclaimed her support for it. From the Washington Post:
But Ellmers and Walorski had withdrawn their support and voiced concerns during meetings at the annual Republican policy retreat in Hershey, Pa. Ellmers did so again Wednesday at a closed-door House GOP meeting in the basement of the Capitol, according to several people who attended.
Seeking to rebut growing criticism from conservatives, Ellmers said on Facebook Wednesday evening that she would vote for the bill: “I have and will continue to be a strong defender of the prolife community,” she wrote.
But she had recently asked leaders to reconsider holding the vote, noting that Republicans had faced harsh criticism from Democrats in recent years for mounting a “war on women” by passing restrictive abortion legislation and other similar bills.
and from her twitter account
To clear up any misinformation, I’ll be voting tomorrow to support H.R. 36 – The Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protect Act. #prolife
— Rep. Renee Ellmers (@RepReneeEllmers) January 21, 2015
Why then is Ellmers playing the role of Vidkun Quisling when overwhelming majorities of the nation support the bill? From Mollie Hemingway writing at The Federalist:
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. … Sixty percent of voters said they would support it, while 33 percent said they were opposed. Even Democrats were evenly divided (46 percent to 47 percent) on the question. We’re one of just a small handful of countries, including notorious human rights violators North Korea and China, that allow late-term abortion.
The sticking point was the exception in the bill for children conceived through rape or incest. The law allowed them to be aborted but only if the mother had reported the incident to police. Why was this an issue? If no police report is required then the proposed law has no effect because every late term abortion becomes the product of rape or incest. Again from Mollie Hemingway:
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. Ellmers’s objection was a NARAL talking point. Back to the Washington Post:
Women’s rights groups and Democrats have denounced the legislation as dangerous and unconstitutional. In a message to group members, the National Organization for Women cited federal statistics showing that just 35 percent of rape victims report the incident to police — and said that the bill will do nothing to increase the rate of reporting. Ilyse Hogue, president of NARAL Pro-Choice America, cheered the decision of GOP leaders.
This is nonsense of a couple of levels. Leaving aside an utterly unfalsifiable contention that 65% or rapes are unreported (you can’t accurately measure something that isn’t reported) we are left with the silly assertion, without evidence, that this would do nothing to increase the rate of rape reporting. The statute of limitations on rape and incest, in every state in the Union, extends well beyond 20 weeks. If a woman is reluctant to report a rape, requiring her to report a rape before being allowed to have a late term abortion by definition increases the number of reported rapes and instances of incest. Though I think the real fear on the part of pro-aborts like Ellmers is that requiring a police report will end up showing just how exceedingly rare pregnancy from rape and incest are and thereby cutting their way of tacitly supporting abortion.
There are only two people protected by Ellmers’s objection: the abortionist who sees his cash flow untouched and the rapist. The answer to Ellmers’s sudden objection to a very popular bill containing a popular provision is that she is a basic, run-of-the-mill pro-abort who is fooling her constituents.
— Rep. Renee Ellmers (@RepReneeEllmers) January 22, 2015