Women revolt in Congress, scuttle abortion bill debate

SHARE Women revolt in Congress, scuttle abortion bill debate

In an embarrassing setback, House Republicans abruptly decided Wednesday to drop planned debate of a bill criminalizing virtually all late-term abortions after objections from GOP women and other lawmakers left them short of votes.

The decision came on the eve of the annual March for Life, when thousands of anti-abortion demonstrators stream to Washington to mark the anniversary of the 1973 Supreme Court decision that legalized abortion. It also came with GOP leaders eager to show unity and an ability by the new Republican-led Congress to govern efficiently.

Republican leaders had planned on Thursday House passage of the legislation, which would ban most abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy.

But they ran into objections from women and other Republican lawmakers unhappy that the measure limited exemptions for victims of rape or incest to only those who had previously reported those incidents to authorities.

The rebellious lawmakers argued that that put unfair pressure on women who often feel shame or fear retaliation if they report those assaults.

On the other hand, GOP leaders were also running into objections from anti-abortion groups when they discussed eliminating the reporting requirements.

After meeting repeatedly with female lawmakers and others who were unhappy with the measure, they decided late Wednesday to postpone that debate indefinitely.

Instead, the House will debate legislation Thursday banning taxpayer funding for abortion — a prohibition that is already largely in effect.

ALAN FRAM, Associated Press

The Latest
A group was gathered late Saturday in the 4800 block of West Arthington Street when someone opened fire, according to Chicago police.
Edelstein, a popular actor on TV, mines art from the piles of old photographs that everyone is burdened with eventually.
Part of the pension mess that’s emerged in the past two decades stems from state laws that made it easier for the city to underfund its pension systems.
According to multiple league sources, the Sky will acquire the No. 7 pick from the Lynx in exchange for Sika Koné, a 2025 second round pick and the rights to swap 2026 first round picks. In addition the Sky will receive the rights to forward Nikolina Milic.
The 23-year-old man was on the sidewalk in the 3500 block of West Harrison Street when someone opened fire.