If you were looking forward to the U.S. House of Representatives voting on the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, you’ll be disappointed to know that you’re going to have to wait. And if you were happy with the bill as it was, that may be too bad.
Despite earlier reporting from Politico that House leaders were sticking to a vote on Thursday, an updated piece now reports that the vote will not take place after all. The dispute had been over rape language in the bill. Instead, a vote will take place prohibiting taxpayer funding of abortion.
While such a replacement vote is encouraging all on its own, the move from GOP leadership certainly seems like a betrayal. And while it may have seemed harsh before to question if Rep. Renee Ellmers (R-NC) is a “pro-choice mole” and wonder about what side she’s on, it all seems a lot more warranted now.
An exception for rape and incest was in the bill. In order for a rape victim to have an abortion, she would have had to report the crime to the authorities, which was hotly disputed.
That the bill had exceptions at all made it imperfect from the start for those who are pro-life without exception, but such a requirement may have existed as a sort of middle ground. Especially with polls suggesting that many Americans take a position on favoring abortion in limited circumstances, the bill would have been more likely to pass. That’s all understandable. But this standstill could prevent considerable efforts from taking place.
Politico had reported on the debate over the bill last week, when it became news that congresswomen from both parties were taking issue with the bill.
The piece mentioned that “[t]he Justice Department estimates that only 32 percent of rape victims report their rapes to authorities.” It also included statements from Democratic congresswomen:
Reps. Louise Slaughter (D-N.Y.) and Diana DeGette (D-Colo.) said it was “unconscionable” to force rape victims to formally report the rape before seeking an abortion.
“Forcing women to go on-the-record about such a traumatic experience as a prerequisite to getting help is unconscionable, and adds to the pain of women who are survivors of rape or incest,” the two Democrats said in a statement.
… I saw the reality that my clients who really were abused had a difficult time with the court system because of these other women who were ruining it for the real victims.
After learning my front tooth would have to be pulled, an expert in cosmetic dentistry offered to restore my smile for free, as part of the Give Back A Smile Program for victims of domestic violence, through the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry. The bridge and eight teeth with porcelain veneers would have likely cost me around $20,000 to have done by this expert in advanced cosmetic dentistry. Hence, the program had to ensure that there wasn’t fraud. I had to have a certification from a domestic violence counselor that I’d spent time with her, that she believed my claim was legitimate, and that I’d been out of the relationship for at least one year. Was this because these people who wanted to help restore my smile were really misogynist wife-beaters themselves who heartlessly mistrusted a victim’s story? No, of course not! This is the result of women who have cried wolf – and I got scrutinized.