Rep. Renee Ellmers, who has been largely blamed for a 20-week abortion ban being pulled at the last minute by House leadership, has spoken about the incident.
The statement appeared on the congresswoman’s website, in the “Blog” section, and is titled “Pro-life and Compassionate[.]” Rep. Ellmers starts off by mentioning “[a]s a mother, a wife, and a devout Catholic, protecting life is a mission that is very near and dear to my heart.” The last sentence of the second paragraph, however, mentions that the congresswoman is “appalled by the abhorrent and childish behaviors from some of the leaders of the outside groups.”
In the likelihood that the congresswoman is referring to rightfully indignant pro-lifers, such a move would not be a wise one. The National Right to Life Committee has already called for the defeat of those responsible for sabotaging the vote. Such language is only going to further evoke their ire, and increase the chances of Rep. Ellmers facing a primary challenger.
To her credit, Rep. Ellmers does address the issue of the vote being delayed, but she unfortunately also chooses to place the blame on others, before attempting to continuously assure readers of her own pro-life commitment, after lambasting “outside groups.”
As any member of Congress should do when apprehensive with language in a bill, my colleagues and I took our concerns to leadership, and we held a discussion within the family of our Republican Conference. I remain disappointed that the concern for the language of mandatory reporting of rape to law enforcement held by House Republican women and many men were not addressed before our leadership made the decision to pull the bill from the House floor in the eleventh hour.
She may remain “disappointed,” but that does not change the vote’s fate, which was impacted by Rep. Ellmer’s own actions.
The fate of the vote was the subject of many pieces, including by The Federalist and Re State, the latter of which published particularly angry pieces. The Washington Post even declared that the congresswoman “had the worst week in Washington[.]”
The Washington Post includes this statement Rep. Ellmers made to National Journal, with added emphasis:
“The first vote we take, or the second vote, or the fifth vote, shouldn’t be on an issue where we know that millennials — social issues just aren’t as important [to them],” Ellmers told National Journal magazine.
This point did not go unnoticed by Mollie Hemingway’s piece for The Federalist:
As a bonus, these stories include reports that Ellmers was worried about how the bill would play among women and millennials.
Newsflash to the geniuses in her policy shop: there are few issues the Republicans can have with as much support, much less as much passionate support. If you’re cowering in fear on popular stuff, what are you going to do when the going gets tough?
Hemingway unveils another point as to why the congresswoman’s statement for the National Journal was so problematic. It’s not just that it’s wrong and ignorant, but it completely compromises one’s pro-life values. Rep. Ellmers’s blog post may say one thing, but such a statement says another about her commitment to the life issue.
Rep. Ellmers is not the first, and she certainly will not be the last, politician to say what she thinks her intended audience wants to hear. It would nice, though, if we could have some consistency with those in office who claim to fight for the preborn.