Commentary

Female GOP Reps. Pull Support for Pain-Capable Abortion Ban

Kristan Hawkins
By Kristan Hawkins | January 30, 2015 | 3:56 PM EST

Students for Life of America leader Kristan Hawkins and dozens of young supporters and other pro-life leaders gathered outside Rep. Renee Ellmer's (R-NC) office to protest her efforts to halt a vote on a pro-life bill. (Photo: stanekreport.com)

Changing the culture to become a Culture of Life instead of one that devalues life is a challenge. Change has to happen in homes, on college and high school campuses, in the media, in work places and in government. Laws have to change to protect the most innocent among us – the preborn. Voting pro-life matters, and legislators who run on the pro-life message have an obligation to uphold those values when it comes to actually casting their votes.

Sometimes legislation is controversial, but other times, it isn’t. In fact, sometimes Congress gets it right and votes on legislation that the majority of Americans agree with – like banning abortions after preborn babies have scientifically been proven to feel pain in the womb at 20 weeks gestation.

Abortions that happen after this stage in pregnancy are particularly gruesome, so horrid that almost all nations ban these types of abortions, except for a handful, including the United States and North Korea. Yet some national legislators, like Congresswomen Renee Ellmers (R-NC) and Jackie Walorski (R-IN), apparently have no problems letting abortions happen to these little ones, because, you know, it’s all “procedural.”

Last week, on January 22, 2015, the House of Representatives scheduled a vote to coincide with the hundreds of thousands of pro-lifers in Washington, D.C. for the March for Life, on a bill that would have banned abortions after 20 weeks. In recent history, Congress has never voted on a pro-life bill during the March for Life. It was set to be a historic moment.

But in the days leading up to the event, Representatives Ellmers and Walorski, who campaigned specifically on the pro-life message, pulled their support for the legislation, even though they had voted for an identical bill in the past, and they did so because, as Rep. Ellmers put it: “The first vote we take, or the second vote, or the fifth vote, shouldn't be on an issue where we know that millennials—social issues just aren't as important [to them]."

How dare she use millennials as an excuse for her poor judgment. How dare she throw our generation under the bus, when, no doubt, many of them stepped up and infused their own passion for Life into her campaign. When polled on the abortion ban after 20 weeks, it was millennials that favored the ban by 52 percent, the highest margin of any age group. It is cowardly of her to use millennials as a scapegoat.

If Rep. Ellmers had been at the March for Life, she would have witnessed the enormous crowds of millennials, including many young women, who were pro-life, and in direct contrast to the scapegoats she made them out to be. But she wasn’t there.

She wasn’t in her office on Capitol Hill either, when I and 60 young college students went to tell her that she was wrong, that millennials don’t support abortions after 20 weeks. I had never seen the fear of God in Hill staffers until then, when they witnessed all of these students walking towards them. They still must be cowering in their offices since we haven’t heard from the Congresswoman at all.

Representative Walorski, on the other hand, had the gall to stand on the March for Life stage and be “honored” for her pro-life stance, even though she publicly pulled her name off of the bill, the very same one she voted for in 2013. I had the chance to ask her directly why she pulled her support, and she said it was procedural – that she was 100 percent pro-life. That makes no sense. There is no reason to allow a preborn baby to be torn limb from limb because of something procedural. No “procedure” takes precedence over saving babies who are feeling excruciating amounts of pain during abortions. It’s torture, plain and simple.

Are these women, and the ones that stood with them, just making a power play? They are all like little John Kerry’s, in favor of the bill before they were against it.

Planned Parenthood would never, ever, allow this kind of defection. They support candidates and expect those candidates to vote for abortion rights, no matter what. Their pro-abortion coalition is strong and never wavers, no matter how unpopular their positions are.

Representatives Ellmers and Walorski made an issue out of a non-issue. Banning abortions after 20 weeks is a no-brainer for the majority of Americans. They need to be held accountable for their cowardly actions. Power play or not, these women used millennials to take the bullets for them. At this point, they both need to let true pro-life women lead the charge in protecting those who have no voice.

Kristan Hawkins is president of Students for Life of America.