The Corner

House GOP Flinches From Passing 20-Week Abortion Ban It Passed Last Congress

House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R., Calif.) met Wednesday evening with Representative Marsha Blackburn (R., Tenn.) and other Republican women to ameliorate a last-minute revolt against a 20-week abortion ban that passed the last Congress with overwhelming GOP support.

He couldn’t convince the lawmakers, so, House GOP leadership is canceling a vote that was scheduled to coincide with the March for Life and the anniversary of the Roe vs. Wade decision.

“I’m honestly stunned — what a complete and utter debacle,” says one Republican lawmaker who supports the legislation. The sticking point: “reporting requirements,” as they’re known on the Hill. In short, the bill bans abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy — when the in utero infant can feel pain — except in cases of rape, incest, or for the life of the mother. But to benefit from the rape and incest exception, the victim has to report the crime to law enforcement.

President Obama criticized that provision as “demonstrating a complete disregard for the women who experience sexual assault and the barriers they may face in reporting,” such as fear of retaliation from their attackers.  “Research indicates that the majority of survivors have not reported their sexual assaults to law enforcement,” his statement of administration policy says.

That line of attack worries some Republicans. “There seems to be a fear of Dem attack ads, which is odd for an issue that is 2:1 in our favor,” the GOP lawmaker says.

It’s especially odd given that some of the Republican women who oppose these reporting requirements voted for them when the bill passed the House last Congress.

Signs of trouble for the bill emerged last week at the GOP retreat in Hershey, Penn., when Representative Renee Ellmers (R., N.C.) argued that Republicans should hold off on passing the bill due to concern that millennial voters would dislike the bill. That argument didn’t seem to gain much traction in the conference meeting, though, as other legislators argued that younger voters are more supportive of the bill than older demographics.

House Republicans will instead vote on a bill banning taxpayer funding of abortion, but that’s a consolation prize for pro-life activists who have descended on the city for the March for Life.

Most Popular

Politics & Policy

The Sinking Collusion Ship

The entire Trump-Russia collusion narrative was always implausible. One, the Washington swamp of fixers such as Paul Manafort and John and Tony Podesta was mostly bipartisan and predated Trump. Two, the Trump administration’s Russia policies were far tougher on Vladimir Putin than were those of Barack ... Read More
Politics & Policy

The Problem with Certainty

EDITOR’S NOTE: The following is Jonah Goldberg’s weekly “news”letter, the G-File. Subscribe here to get the G-File delivered to your inbox on Fridays. Dear Reader (Including those of you having this read to you while you white-knuckle the steering wheel trying to get to wherever you’re going for the ... Read More
Politics & Policy

The Worst Cover-Up of All Time

President Donald Trump may be guilty of many things, but a cover-up in the Mueller probe isn’t one of them. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, attempting to appease forces in the Democratic party eager for impeachment, is accusing him of one, with all the familiar Watergate connotations. The charge is strange, ... Read More
World

Theresa May: A Political Obituary

On Friday, Theresa May, perhaps the worst Conservative prime minister in recent history, announced her resignation outside of number 10 Downing Street. She will step down effective June 7. “I have done my best,” she insisted. “I have done everything I can. . . . I believe it was right to persevere even ... Read More
PC Culture

TV Before PC

Affixing one’s glance to the rear-view mirror is usually as ill-advised as staring at one’s own reflection. Still, what a delight it was on Wednesday to see a fresh rendition of “Those Were the Days,” from All in the Family, a show I haven’t watched for nearly 40 years. This time it was Woody Harrelson ... Read More
Politics & Policy

The Democrats’ Other Class War

There is a class war going on inside the Democratic party. Consider these two cris de couer: Writing in the New York Times under the headline “America’s Cities Are Unlivable — Blame Wealthy Liberals,” Farhad Manjoo argues that rich progressives have, through their political domination of cities such as ... Read More
Culture

The Deepfake of Nancy Pelosi

You’ve almost made it to a three-day weekend! Making the click-through worthwhile: A quick note about how National Review needs your help, concerns about “deepfakes” of Nancy Pelosi, one of the most cringe-inducing radio interviews of all time, some news about where to find me and the book in the near ... Read More
U.S.

America’s Best Defense Against Socialism

The United States of America has flummoxed socialists since the nineteenth century. Marx himself couldn’t quite understand why the most advanced economy in the world stubbornly refused to transition to socialism. Marxist theory predicts the immiseration of the proletariat and subsequent revolution from below. ... Read More