Earlier this month, the House passed a ban on abortions after 20 weeks. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell says he too expects a vote on the ban as Sen. Lindsay Graham, R-S.C., introduced his version of the bill weeks ago.
Despite a Republican majority in the House and Senate, it's highly unlikely the bill will pass. The same majority was unable to defund abortion giant Planned Parenthood, despite two Congressional hearings showing they had illegally profited from the sale of aborted baby parts and didn't actually need subsidized taxpayer funds.
However, even its pending failure highlights two sad, yet important, facts about the political climate right now: 1. A GOP majority is overrated if they can't successfully lobby one of the biggest tenets of their party. 2. Liberals are still confused about the fact that unborn babies are humans with rights.
First, though Republicans in the Senate enjoy a 52-seat majority, they need 60 votes--the support of eight Democrats--to pass Graham's bill. There's only one Democratic senator who "scored less than a 100 percent rating with NARAL Pro-Choice America." At best, the Senate could whip three Democrat votes on a really good day. Not to mention, when the chance has come to repeal and replace Obamacare or defund Planned Parenthood--all with compelling evidence staring them in the face--the same GOP majority has been unable to do so.
Republicans lack the chutzpah their Democrat counterparts often employ when it comes to crucial legislation. When the time comes to pass something vital, Democrats put miscellaneous issues aside and band together as one to override whatever obstacle stands in their way.
Republicans on the other hand, when faced with mounting evidence of Planned Parenthood's illegal activities and the fact that they receive hundreds of thousands of taxpayer funds yearly, were still unable to rip that funding from their blood-stained hands. Why? Fear of Democrats and the pro-choice lobby (that doesn't even like them) and in fact, has been caught red-handed breaking the law.
Second, even the introduction of this bill reveals how little liberals care to understand about biology. First and foremost, the bill -- "Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act" -- is about protecting the lives of unborn babies who are unable to express and protect themselves yet. In a Salon piece, writer Amanda Marcotte comments snidely, "The official excuse for this bill is some fake science about 'fetal pain' that persists despite repeated debunking, in no small part because it wasn't offered up in good faith in the first place."
Fake science about fetal pain? Perhaps medicine is hard for Marcotte to understand. As the bill describes, and any obstetrician will inform her, unborn babies feel pain so strongly that "For the purposes of surgery on unborn children, fetal anesthesia is routinely administered and is associated with a decrease in stress hormones compared to their level when painful stimuli are applied without such anesthesia. In the United States, surgery of this type is being performed by 20 weeks after fertilization and earlier in specialized units affiliated with children's hospitals."
Further, Marcotte believes "This bill is, at its core, about promoting a vicious and misogynist stereotype about sexually active women: That they're dumb, lazy or oversexed and therefore don't deserve either health care or sympathy."
I'm not sure what language in the bill allows Marcotte such an aggressive interpretation. Again, the bill is focused on protecting the unborn, but that doesn't mean it's attempting to marginalize the women who bear them. In fact, the bill allows for exceptions such as rape, incest, or if the life of the mother is at stake. This extends kindness to mothers who might feel confusion or fear in terrible circumstances while still doing the utmost to preserve the life of an innocent human being.
The fact that liberals still claim ignorance when it comes to biology is predictable, though unfortunate. Meanwhile, it's also discouraging that Republicans cannot garner enough support for one of the main tenets of their party, even when they only need to whip up a handful of votes to do it.
Nicole Russell is a contributor to the Washington Examiner's Beltway Confidential blog. She is a journalist in Washington, D.C., who previously worked in Republican politics in Minnesota. She was the 2010 recipient of the American Spectator's Young Journalist Award.
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