(CNSNews.com) - Rep. Chris Smith (R-N.J.) told Congress on Thursday that a pro-life measure, the Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, will come to the House floor "soon." But it won't happen on Thursday, as planned. Thursday is the anniversary of the Supreme Court's Roe v. Wade decision, and tens of thousands of people are taking part in the annual March for Life.
Republican leaders pulled the Pain Capable bill last night. The bill, which would ban abortion at 20 weeks, included an exemption for women who say they were raped and reported that rape to law enforcement. But a few Republicans objected to that provision, since many rapes are not reported.
Expanding the bill's exemption to cover all claims of rape would allow more abortions. Pro-life activists expressed disappointment that Republicans couldn't agree on such a strong, pro-life measure.
Speaking on the House floor Thursday, Rep. Smith said twice that the Unborn Child Pain Capable Protection act "will come to the floor." He used the word "soon."
"We know that children suffer excruciating pain from dismemberment, piece by piece, a child literally pulled apart -- arms, legs, torso, decapitation -- that's the realty of abortion," he said.
On Thursday, Republicans substituted another bill that would ban taxpayer funding of abortion, something that is already written into law via the Hyde Amendment.
H.R. 7 would make federal abortion funding prohibitions permanent, so they don't have to be included in the annual appropriations bills, Rep. Smith said.
The bill also ensures that the Affordable Care Act conforms with the Hyde Amendment, as President Obama falsely promised it would. And it provides full disclosure and transparency and prominent display of the extent to which any insurance plan on the exchange funds abortion.
Smith noted that Americans in growing numbers are demanding demanding that taxpayer funds not be used to pay for abortions.
"H.R. 7 will save lives: We know the Hyde Amendment has probably saved at least a milion lives -- children who are on soccer fields today, who are in school, perhaps even getting married because the Hyde Amendment's been in effect since the 1970s. Over a million children are alive because of that restriction of abortion in Medicaid funding."
The same restriction should apply to Obamacare, but it doesn't. Smith said consumers shopping for health insurance on the federal exchanges have no idea if they're buying a plan that is paying for abortion on demand, because there is no transparency.
Smith reminded Congress that President Obama himself assured Americans in Sept. 2009 that 'under our plan, no federal dollars will be used to fund abortion." Then on March 10, 2010 -- to boost Democrats' support for the Affordable Care Act -- Obama gave them his word that ACA "maintains current Hyde Amendment restrictions governing abortion policy."
"NOthing...could be further from the truth," Smith said on Thursday
Smith noted that Congress asked the Government Accountability Office to look into how many plans are funding abortion. "They came back and said well over a thousand insurance plans on the exchange were funding abortion on demand -- completely contrary to what our president told us..."
Smith also noted that people receiving subsidies on the federal health exchange were supposed to pay separately for plans providing any abortion coverage. They were supposed to write one check for the basic policy, and one for the abortion coverage. "That's not being implemented, either," Smith said.
"Conscientious pro-life Americans (who) do not want to be complicit in the wounding of women and the killing of babies are paying for abortion, and many of them don't even know it."
On the opposing side, Rep. Louise Slaughter (D-N.Y.) insisted there is "no scientific evidence" that babies feel fetal pain at 20 weeks.
One by one, House Democrats lined up to read the exact same statement into the record: "Madame Speaker, I ask unanimous consent to insert my statement into the record that the House should vote for bigger paychecks and better infrastructure instead of attacking women's access to health care."