The “Pain-Capable” Bill: blocked by both parties

January 22 was supposed to bring a vote on a federal bill to ban abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy. Didn’t happen. Republican women who were elected with the help of pro-life donors decided to block the bill, demanding that a provision be removed that would have required a rape survivor seeking a late-term abortion to report the rape to law enforcement. House Speaker John Boehner withdrew the bill to avoid a defeat on the floor. (Consolation prize: a bill to block taxpayer funding of abortions. More on that another day.)

There’s plenty of angst to go around. The women who derailed the bill … their colleagues who were terribly afraid of disagreeing with these women on a “women’s issue” (tell that to the aborted males) … the people who inserted a rape-and-incest exception … the people who opposed the bill altogether because it wasn’t pro-life enough … the people who hated the bill because it would have blocked any abortions at all …

I’m with David Harsanyi, who said “Evidently, Republicans don’t feel competent enough to make a case against infanticide.” Yes, I wanted this bill to pass. It was a misshapen thing, but it should have passed. I reject the assertion that it would have made pre-20-week abortions or rape-and-incest abortions acceptable. It was Justice Blackmun and his brethren who made those abortions legal.

Remember who made late-term abortion a matter of debate in Washington in 2013? Kermit Gosnell. In the wake of his atrocities, Congress took its first crack at a Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act. Democrats blocked it. Last week, Republicans blocked it. Different reasons, same outcome: no coherent defense of any preborn child, never mind all of them.

A reader recently reminded me of something I wrote in June of 2013. Then-Speaker Pelosi was nearly incoherent when asked about the difference between legal late-term abortion and the murder of a 23-week baby who survived an attempted abortion. (There is no difference, of course, but as an abortion advocate in good standing, Pelosi couldn’t quite say that.)  I’m beginning to think the Republican women who blocked the Pain-Capable bill couldn’t do much better. Their words would be different, certainly, but the result would be the same.

After the 2013 vote on the bill, I took my lumps from pro-lifers who were incensed that the bill had exceptions. Some things haven’t changed.

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