The House voted Thursday (Jan. 22) to cement a ban on taxpayer funding for abortion through Obamacare or in other cases, a turnaround bid to save face after Republican leaders were forced to pull a groundbreaking bill that would prohibit abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy.
The 242-to-179 vote reopened the fight over Obamacare and whether it subsidizes abortions, despite President Obama’s promises that it would not.
But that debate was overshadowed by GOP disunion that forced leaders late Wednesday to scramble for an alternative to their preferred bill, the 20-week ban.
Some Republicans yanked their support for that bill because it required women to have reported instances of rape or incest to be exempted.
The sudden swap disappointed pro-life marchers who descended on Washington Thursday. But they still cheered the replacement bill, as it would put into law a longstanding ban on federal funding for abortion known as the “Hyde amendment.”
Others were not as generous, saying Republicans had retreated from the principles they vowed to defend….
The GOP majority wanted to pass pro-life legislation to recognize the March for Life, an annual event that coincides he anniversary of the Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision establishing a national right to abortion.
The initial bill, titled the “Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act,” would have established a national ban on abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy — the time at which the bill declared fetuses are able to feel pain.
The legislation included limited exceptions for pregnancies that were the result of rape or incest or that were necessary to prevent the mother’s life from being endangered. But the rape and incest exceptions only applied to reported cases of those sex crimes.
By Tom Howell Jr. – The Washington Times –