House Republicans Debate Pro-Life Politics

Hershey, Penn. — House Republicans didn’t talk much yesterday about the strategy to fight President Obama’s immigration actions over the next several weeks, but they are debating the politics of pro-life legislation, especially a bill that would ban the abortions of in utero infants capable of feeling pain.

“Renee Ellmers spoke out against bringing up the pain-capable abortion bill due to opposition from millenials, but Jeff Fortenberry argued (correctly) that millenials are more pro-life than past generations,” a Republican in the meeting says in a series of text messages to National Review Online. Ellmers is from North Carolina; Fortenberry is from Nebraska. 

The source said that the conference “absolutely” seemed to support Fortenberry’s position, which was also backed up by Representative Andy Harris (R. Md.).

The House passed a pain-capable bill last summer, with several Republican women taking the lead when the bill was debated on the House floor.

“Scientific evidence tells us that unborn babies can feel touch as soon as 8 weeks into the pregnancy; they feel pain at 20 weeks,” Representative Marsha Blackburn (R., Tenn.) said during that debate. “Indeed, some of these marvelous, marvelous fetal surgeries that are performed — they administer an anesthesia to these unborn babies.” 

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