House GOP Will Try Again on Late-Term Abortion Bill

A measure that was pulled after a revolt by Republican women will return with new language.

Rep. Trent Franks (R-AZ) listens during a news conference for the launch of the Congressional HIV/AIDS Caucus on Capitol Hill on September 15, 2011 in Washington, DC.
National Journal
Daniel Newhauser
Add to Briefcase
Daniel Newhauser
May 8, 2015, 12:20 p.m.

House Re­pub­lic­ans will vote this week on a con­tro­ver­sial bill to lim­it late-term abor­tions, tak­ing a second pass at le­gis­la­tion that was pulled from floor con­sid­er­a­tion this year over con­cerns that it was in­sens­it­ive to wo­men who be­come preg­nant as a res­ult of rape.

At the time, many House wo­men and mod­er­ates com­plained to GOP lead­ers about a pro­vi­sion re­quir­ing wo­men to re­port the rape to law en­force­ment of­fi­cials to be eli­gible for a late-term abor­tion. Pro­ponents of the bill, however, ar­gued that without the lan­guage, wo­men could falsely claim they were raped in or­der to get an abor­tion.

As a com­prom­ise, new lan­guage that will be re­vealed as soon as Monday will re­move the re­port­ing re­quire­ment and re­place it with a two-day wait­ing peri­od. Abor­tion pro­viders would have to en­sure the rape vic­tim re­ceives med­ic­al treat­ment or coun­sel­ing at least 48 hours pri­or to per­form­ing the pro­ced­ure a spokes­man for Ma­jor­ity Lead­er Kev­in Mc­Carthy.

(RE­LATED: A Look at Late-Term Abor­tions, State by State

Yet Mc­Carthy’s of­fice would not an­swer Fri­day wheth­er the lan­guage also in­cludes changes that some Con­gress­wo­men were seek­ing on abor­tions in the case of in­cest. The ori­gin­al bill only al­lowed minors who be­come preg­nant through in­cest to be eli­gible for a late-term abor­tion. Rep. Ren­ee Ellmers, who has been out­spoken in op­pos­i­tion to the rape re­port­ing re­quire­ment, told Na­tion­al Journ­al last month that she be­lieved the re­sur­rec­ted bill opened up the pro­ced­ure to wo­men of any age who be­come preg­nant as a res­ult of in­cest.

If that change is not in­cluded in the new bill, it is un­clear how it will be re­ceived by Ellmers and oth­er mem­bers who have been crit­ic­al of the ori­gin­al meas­ure. Ellmers was not avail­able for com­ment by press time.

Still, sev­er­al mem­bers lauded the changed le­gis­lat­ive text, in­clud­ing Reps. Di­ane Black, Vicky Hartz­ler, and the bill’s spon­sor, Rep. Trent Franks.

“I am so grate­ful to all who have worked so hard to craft lan­guage that will now unite the pro-life base in a pos­it­ive and ef­fect­ive way,” Franks said in a state­ment. “This pro­pos­al is sub­stan­tially stronger than the ori­gin­al bill, and it places the fo­cus back upon pro­tect­ing moth­ers and their in­no­cent little pain-cap­able ba­bies, from the be­gin­ning of the sixth month un­til birth.”

The bill is ex­pec­ted on the House floor Wed­nes­day, co­in­cid­ing with the two-year an­niversary of the con­vic­tion of Ker­mit Gos­nell, a Phil­adelphia doc­tor was found to have per­formed scores of il­leg­al late-term abor­tions un­der de­plor­able con­di­tions and killed at least three live-born ba­bies. Two days after his con­vic­tion, he was sen­tenced to life in pris­on.

To tie in­to the an­niversary, the bill in­cludes pro­vi­sions deal­ing with in­fants born alive dur­ing an abor­tion pro­ced­ure, an in­formed con­sent form for wo­men seek­ing late-term abor­tions, and a right of civil ac­tion against abor­tion pro­viders who do not fol­low the law, as first re­por­ted by The Weekly Stand­ard.

What We're Following See More »
ARMISTICE MAY BECOME PEACE AGREEMENT
North Korea Looking for Denuclearization of Peninsula
2 hours ago
THE LATEST

North Korea has expressed its commitment to 'complete denuclearisation' of the Korean peninsula and is not seeking conditions, South Korean President Moon Jae-in said on Thursday. ... South Korea announced on Wednesday that it is considering how to change a decades-old armistice with North Korea into a peace agreement as it prepares for the North-South summit this month." The leaders of the respective countries are also expected to connect a phone line so they can communicate directly.

Source:
NO IMMIGRATION ENFORCEMENT DUTIES
Deal Reached to Send California National Guard to Border
2 hours ago
THE LATEST

"California reached an agreement with the federal government that the state’s National Guard troops will deploy to the border to focus on fighting transnational gangs as well as drug and gun smugglers, Gov. Jerry Brown said. ... Brown said Wednesday he secured federal funding for terms similar to those outlined in last week’s proposed contract: The Guard cannot handle custody duties for anyone accused of immigration violations, build border barriers or have anything to do with immigration enforcement."

Source:
RAUL CASTRO STEPPED DOWN
Miguel Diaz-Canel Elected Pesident Of Cuba
2 hours ago
THE LATEST
SHE’S THE CIA NOMINEE
Gina Haspel Hearing May 9
2 hours ago
THE DETAILS
FOCUSING ON FBI RAID
Cohen Drops Lawsuits Against Buzzfeed, Fusion GPS
2 hours ago
THE LATEST

President Trump's personal attorney Michael Cohen has dropped two libel suits against Buzzfeed News and private investigation firm Fusion GPS. Buzzfeed published the "so-called dossier" compiled by employees at Fusion GPS, which alleged "that Cohen met with Russian operatives" in order to "clean up the mess created by public disclosures of other Trump associates’ reported ties to Russia." Cohen's attorney said his client was dropping the suit to focus on the legal battle over "documents and electronic files seized from [Cohen's] home, office and hotel room" during an FBI raid last week.

Source:
×
×

Welcome to National Journal!

You are currently accessing National Journal from IP access. Please login to access this feature. If you have any questions, please contact your Dedicated Advisor.

Login