A Republican lawmaker whose concerns about language in the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act resulted in GOP leadership canceling a vote on the bill accused the pro-life groups of acting childishly in response to the disappointment.
Representative Renee Ellmers (R., N.C.) faulted Republican leadership for canceling the vote rather than changing the provision that requires victims of rape and incest to report the crime to the police in order to get a late-term abortion.
“I am appalled by the abhorrent and childish behaviors from some of the leaders of the outside groups,” Ellmers wrote in a blog post on her website.
It’s rare that a pro-life Republican risks antagonizing her base with such comments, though less surprising in Ellmers’s case given that her staff accused pro-life groups of “playing politics” with the pain-capable bill. Pro-life groups support the reporting requirements, to the frustration of Ellmers and other Republicans who oppose the language. GOP leadership is talking to lawmakers about how to resolve the legislative impasse.
“While we must continue to provide a voice for the voiceless, we must also show compassion to women when they are in the midst of a crisis, especially victims of rape — and it is my belief that the mandatory police reporting provision relating to rape within the bill would have hindered our ability to do that,” she wrote.
“We will continue working to address our concerns with the bill’s mandatory provision that requires a victim of rape to report to law enforcement, and our goal remains the same: bring this pro-life legislation to the House floor in its best possible form so that we can stand up for the unborn,” Ellmers wrote.