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 »
ARMS CONTROL, SYRIA WERE DISCUSSED
Russians Refer to "Verbal Agreements" with Trump
3 hours ago
THE LATEST

"Two days after President Trump’s summit with Russian President Vladi­mir Putin, Russian officials offered a string of assertions about what the two leaders had achieved. 'Important verbal agreements' were reached at the Helsinki meeting, Russia’s ambassador to the United States, Anatoly Antonov, told reporters in Moscow Wednesday, including preservation of the New Start and INF agreements," and cooperation in Syria.

Source:
WAS "GRUDGINGLY" CONVINCED
Trump Was Shown Proof of Russian Interference Before Inauguration
4 hours ago
THE LATEST

"Two weeks before his inauguration, Donald J. Trump was shown highly classified intelligence indicating that President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia had personally ordered complex cyberattacks to sway the 2016 American election. The evidence included texts and emails from Russian military officers and information gleaned from a top-secret source close to Mr. Putin, who had described to the C.I.A. how the Kremlin decided to execute its campaign of hacking and disinformation. Mr. Trump sounded grudgingly convinced, according to several people who attended the intelligence briefing. But ever since, Mr. Trump has tried to cloud the very clear findings that he received on Jan. 6, 2017, which his own intelligence leaders have unanimously endorsed."

CONCERNS REAL ESTATE DEAL WITH HALIBURTON CHAIRMAN
Interior Department Inspector Opens Probe Into Zinke
8 hours ago
WHY WE CARE

"The Interior Department’s internal watchdog has opened a formal investigation into a real estate deal involving a foundation established by Ryan Zinke and developers including Halliburton Chairman David Lesar, which was first reported by Politico, according to a letter sent to lawmakers Wednesday."

Source:
STEVEN DILLINGHAM COMES FROM PEACE CORPS
With Census Looming, Trump Nominates Director
8 hours ago
THE DETAILS

With preparations for the 2020 Census underway, President Trump has nominated a director of the agency. Steven Dillingham currently serves as director of the Office of Strategic Information, Research, and Planning at the Peace Corps. Previously, he served as Director of the Bureau of Justice Statistics and the Bureau of Transportation Statistics. Among his challenges will be navigating the thorny political issue of including a citizenship question on the survey.

STATE'S HIGH COURT REMOVES FROM BALLOT
California Will Not Vote on Plan to Split State in Three
9 hours ago
THE LATEST

"The California Supreme Court decided Wednesday to remove a measure aimed at dividing California into three states from the November ballot. In a brief order, the court said it acted because significant questions have been raised regarding the proposition’s validity and because we conclude that the potential harm in permitting the measure to remain on the ballot outweighs the potential harm in delaying the proposition to a future election.'”

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