Following her controversial stance against the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act early in 2015, North Carolina Republican Congresswoman Renee Ellmers now finds herself facing three Republican primary challengers pledging stronger conservative leadership.
In January, Ellmers raised objections to a bill banning abortion at five months of pregnancy on the grounds that its rape exception was too burdensome. The move incensed pro-lifers, as the derailed vote on the bill was scheduled to coincide with the annual March for Life, the country’s largest pro-life demonstration.
Ellmers eventually said she could support the bill if the exception’s requirement to report a rape to police was changed to reporting it to the abortionist, which pro-life critics noted would create a wide loophole.
Many pro-life organization denounced Ellmers for her stance, with National Right to Life declaring, “If you can’t vote for such a humanitarian no-brainer of a law to protect the unborn, you can’t be trusted to vote for any pro-life legislation,” and the North Carolina Values Coalition accusing her of “betray[ing] the pro-life community.”
In next month’s primary election, she will face attorney Kay Daly, economics professor Frank Roche, and businessman Jim Duncan.
Daly, who advertises herself as “hunting RINOs,” (Republicans In Name Only), has won the endorsement of several pro-life leaders, including Focus on the Family founder Dr. James Dobson and Family Research Council co-founder Gary Bauer. Roche pledges to be an antidote to a widespread “lack of courage to take on … progressives in both parties, or to fight for conservative principles.” Duncan is running on a platform that says “Protecting all life, born and those yet to be born is a fundamental responsibility for all.”