A group of pro-life activists plan to stage a sit-in at the office of House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) over the GOP leadership’s handling of a recent bill banning abortions after a fetus has been in the womb for 20 weeks.
Activist Jill Stanek and a group called the Christian Defense Coalition has planned the protest for March 25.
At issue is the GOP leadership’s handling of the “Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Act,” which bans abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy but includes exceptions for victims of rape and incest.
The bill was supposed to be voted on Jan. 22 in conjunction with the anniversary of the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision to legalize abortion and while Washington was filled with pro-life activists for the annual March for Life. Stanek said the concept is very simple.
“It is a ban on abortion past 20 weeks,” she explained.
“It is known that by 20 weeks, and probably before, children feel pain. When they are aborted at 20 weeks, they are literally drawn and quartered. They’re just ripped apart, limb by limb. So this ban would make it a federal offense [and] ban abortions past 20 weeks.”
But the bill, which sailed through the House with a smaller Republican majority in the previous Congress, never received a vote.
Stanek says the resistance to the bill lies in a provision that allows for abortions for victims of rape and incest, provided the mother can provide a police report of the crime. She blames the GOP’s skittishness on the public relations disasters the party has suffered over candidates’ controversial statements on rape in the past few years.
Stanek also claims that Republicans have “taken advantage” of the pro-life movement by dithering over the bill.
“They don’t take us seriously. They don’t respect us or fear us.”
Pro-life dissatisfaction swelled after the bill was pulled. In response, the House passed legislation to ban taxpayer funding of abortions that same day. Many members also promised that the Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Act would be revived shortly.
Stanek said there has been neither noticeable progress toward fulfilling that promise nor any explanations for why it hasn’t happened.
“There have been no excuses made,” she said.
“They did promise to bring the bill up right away, and they haven’t. That is precisely the reason that after two months of waiting, we are going to Washington, D.C., and we are going to force them to address this.”
Featured image courtesy of Shutterstock / Katherine Welles