The Corner

D.C. Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act Receives Strong Support

As my colleague Chuck Donovan mentioned earlier today, the D.C. Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act received strong support in the U.S House of Representatives last night. Seventeen Democrats supported 203 Republicans in voting in favor of the bill. However, even though the bill received majority support, it failed to garner the two-thirds vote necessary to pass under suspension of the rules. Back in May, the Prenatal Nondiscrimination Act (PRENDA) which would ban sex-selective abortions was voted on by the House under the same set of circumstances. It too received majority support, but also fell short of the two-thirds majority needed for passage.

Some pro-lifers are wondering why House leadership has suspended the rules for both of these bills — requiring a higher two-thirds threshold for passage. The reasons are twofold. First, the Democrat controlled Senate would be extremely unlikely to vote on either of these pieces of legislation. So even if these bills were to pass the House, they would be all but certain to die in the Senate. Second, and more important, suspending the rules allows the legislation to be voted on without amendments. During the debate over the federal partial-birth-abortion ban in the mid-1990s, many Democrats were able to take political cover by voting for a sham partial-birth-abortion ban — rendered meaningless by an amendment mandating an extremely broad health exception. Republican leadership wanted to make sure that this did not happen with either the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act or PRENDA.

Scheduling floor votes on both bills was a shrewd decision by Republican House leadership because it put many Democrats on record as opposing pieces of pro-life legislation that enjoy broad public support. In fact, before the end of the congressional session, the House leadership should consider a vote on the Child Interstate Abortion Notification Act (CIANA). CIANA would make it illegal for a non-parent to circumvent a state parental-notice law by taking a minor across state lines to have an abortion. CIANA was voted out of the House Judiciary Committee by a 20–13 margin in March. Versions of CIANA were approved by a majority of both the U.S House and U.S. Senate in 2006. Furthermore, five Gallup surveys taken since 1992 consistently show that around 70 percent of Americans favor parental-involvement laws. A House Vote on CIANA would be both good politics and good policy.

Michael New — Michael New is an assistant professor at the University of Michigan-Dearborn, an adjunct scholar at the CATO Institute, and a fellow at the Witherspoon Institute. His research has focused on ...

Most Popular

Politics & Policy

Students’ Anti-Gun Views

Are children innocents or are they leaders? Are teenagers fully autonomous decision-makers, or are they lumps of mental clay, still being molded by unfolding brain development? The Left seems to have a particularly hard time deciding these days. Take, for example, the high-school students from Parkland, ... Read More
PC Culture

Kill Chic

We live in a society in which gratuitous violence is the trademark of video games, movies, and popular music. Kill this, shoot that in repugnant detail becomes a race to the visual and spoken bottom. We have gone from Sam Peckinpah’s realistic portrayal of violent death to a gory ritual of metal ripping ... Read More
Elections

Romney Is a Misfit for America

Mitt’s back. The former governor of Massachusetts and occasional native son of Michigan has a new persona: Mr. Utah. He’s going to bring Utah conservatism to the whole Republican party and to the country at large. Wholesome, efficient, industrious, faithful. “Utah has a lot to teach the politicians in ... Read More
Law & the Courts

What the Second Amendment Means Today

The horrifying school massacre in Parkland, Fla., has prompted another national debate about guns. Unfortunately, it seems that these conversations are never terribly constructive — they are too often dominated by screeching extremists on both sides of the aisle and armchair pundits who offer sweeping opinions ... Read More
U.S.

Fire the FBI Chief

American government is supposed to look and sound like George Washington. What it actually looks and sounds like is Henry Hill from Goodfellas: bad suit, hand out, intoning the eternal mantra: “F*** you, pay me.” American government mostly works by interposition, standing between us, the free people at ... Read More
Film & TV

Black Panther’s Circle of Hype

The Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) first infantilizes its audience, then banalizes it, and, finally, controls it through marketing. This commercial strategy, geared toward adolescents of all ages, resembles the Democratic party’s political manipulation of black Americans, targeting that audience through its ... Read More