January 22 is a monumental day for pro-lifers, but this year, it’s not just because of the March for Life to mourn the anniversary of Roe v. Wade. GOP leadership has scheduled a House vote on the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act that same day. The bill is sponsored by Rep. Trent Franks (R-AZ) and Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN). The bill has passed the House before, in 2013, with a vote of 228-196.
In analyzing the bill, particularly with regards to the Republican Party, Politico writes that “GOP hopes it has cracked the abortion code,” noting that many in the party leadership are behind the bill. The vote was even planned for this day:
In the House, Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) opted to tie the upcoming vote to the March for Life event after meeting with leading anti-abortion groups and Republicans who have long been vocal opponents of abortion. McCarthy met in November with a dozen conservative groups, including the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops and Susan B. Anthony List, and “reiterated his commitment to the pro-life movement and vowed to ensure that the House of Representatives would be in session and voting during the 2015 March for Life,” a GOP staffer said.
Bill sponsor Rep. Franks notes that “[t]his is something we can all get together on.” One would hope so! With the Democratic Party’s national platform being what it is on abortion, it seems unlikely that we can depend on Democrats to promote or pass any pro-life bills. This may leave the Republican Party, as well as what pro-life Democrats remain, to protect the unborn.
President and CEO of Planned Parenthood Cecile Richards criticizes not only the bill, but also Congress for voting on it, as mentioned by The Huffington Post:
Richards said the bill shows that Republican-led Congress has the wrong priorities.
“This is an unconstitutional ban, and this is something we expect to defeat,” she said. “The people of this country believe Congress should be focused on making people’s lives better, and they shouldn’t be involved in making personal medical decisions for women and their doctors.”
For the pro-life voter in America, and even more importantly, for those women who have been hurt by abortion and those unborn children who have been ruthlessly killed by it, such a vote is what will be “making people’s lives better[.]”
While the bill did pass the House of Representatives, then Senate majority leader Harry Reid (D-NV) never let it get to a vote. The new Senate majority leader, Mitch McConnell (R-KY), has already promised such a vote, however.
Cecile Richards is also quoted in The Huffington Post claiming that she “‘expect[s] to defeat’ a bill next week in the House of Representatives that would ban abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy. ”
Unfortunately for Richards, it seems likely that the bill will once again pass the House, and it may pass the Senate, especially after the historic election of pro-life women.
And speaking of women, despite Planned Parenthood claiming that “American voters do not want government restricting abortion,” a 20-week ban on abortion has support not only from most of the country, but from women in particular. Many polls have shown support to be at more than half — even one from The Huffington Post, which often publishes pieces in support of abortion.
Even if the bill were to pass both the House and the Senate, it is almost certain that President Barack Obama would veto it. And while living under such a pro-abortion administration can be frustrating, voting on the bill is at least a step in the right direction. While President Bill Clinton vetoed the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act, the stage was set, and the next president, George W. Bush, signed the bill into law. The Supreme Court also upheld such a ban.
Cecile Richards claims in the same piece for The Huffington Post that “politicians who are trying to erase women’s progress are on the wrong side of history.” It is the abortion movement which will be “on the wrong side of history,” especially since abortion is hardly “women’s progress.” There are already 13 states that have approved similar proposals, and it is certainly time to have a national one protecting as many babies, especially ones who can feel pain, as possible.
The Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act is notable not only because it will be voted on while hundreds of thousands of pro-lifers will already be in town to March for Life. It will be voted on on the 42nd anniversary of Roe v. Wade, which made abortion legal in all 50 states up until birth. While this is normally a somber day for pro-life Americans, as we reflect on the 57 million children we’ve lost since 1973, there is an opportunity for victory and celebration this year.