Rep. Renee Ellmers acts to block pro-life bill

Editor's Note: This was originally posted on January 2015 ellmersThe U.S. House of Representatives was on track to vote on the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act last Thursday, the 42nd anniversary of Roe v. Wade, while hundreds of thousands of pro-lifers gathered in our nation’s capital for the March for Life. Instead, a small group of lawmakers, the most prominent of whom was Congresswoman Renee Ellmers, of North Carolina (CD-2), led a successful effort to derail the bill’s progress, ensuring that it was pulled from the agenda. She attempted to weaken the language of the bill and prevent it from reaching the floor for a vote entirely. Rather than take up a bill with weakened language, leadership in the U.S. House facilitated a vote upon a different pro-life bill, the No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act (H.R. 7). The bill, which we wholeheartedly support, passed by a vote of 242-179 and now goes to the U.S. Senate for consideration. Last fall, Rep. Ellmers campaigned on a pro-life platform and, in 2013, voted for the exact same Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act. Indeed, she is still claiming to be a champion for life – a particularly disingenuous claim following her plea to fellow lawmakers not to take up pro-life legislation:   I have urged leadership to reconsider bringing it up next week….We got into trouble last year, and I think we need to be careful again, we need to be smart about how we’re moving forward. The first vote we take, or the second vote or the fifth vote, shouldn’t be on an issue where we know the millennials, social issues just aren’t important [to them].”   Ellmers’ concerns about upsetting millennials (those aged 15-35) are bizarre considering the consistent support for protecting pain-capable unborn children found among the younger generation. A Knights of Columbus/Marist poll from December 2013 actually found higher support for the bill among millennials than among any other generation: 72% of millennials supported the bill versus 66% of all adults polled. The hundreds of thousands of young people present at last week’s March for Life, too, demonstrate just how important protecting unborn children is to millennials. Though Rep. Ellmers is to blame for the vote not taking place to protect thousands of pain-capable unborn children, the congresswoman continues to present herself as a staunch defender of life. A legislator who pays lip service to the cause while actively opposing legislation to protect pain capable unborn children is no friend of our movement. Rep. Renee Ellmers has betrayed the pro-life people of this state and country – and more importantly – she has betrayed the unborn children who die from painful abortions every day. North Carolina Right to Life and pro-lifers will not forget what Renee Ellmers has done.

Background on Renee Ellmers’s public statements on life and her recent actions.

ellmersbwAs a candidate in 2010, Renee Ellmers said she believed that “unborn children should be protected by law, and that abortion should not be permitted under any circumstances.”  But now, Congresswoman Ellmers is trying to torpedo legislation that would protect pain-capable unborn children in the sixth month of pregnancy and later! The pro-life Republican leadership of the U. S. House of Representatives has announced plans for the House to vote on the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act (H.R. 36) on Thursday, January 22 – the anniversary of the Supreme Court decision legalizing abortion on demand, and the big day of the March for Life in Washington.  This vital bill would extend general protection from abortion to pain-capable unborn children nationwide beginning at 20 weeks fetal age.  The legislation is strongly supported by National Right to Life, North Carolina Right to Life, and numerous other pro-life organizations. In a shocking development, on Friday, January 16, Congreswoman Ellmers launched a public attack on the bill.  In a published interview with National Journal, Ellmers confirmed that she is urging the House Republican leadership not to bring the bill up for a vote. ” I have urged leadership to reconsider bringing it up next week….We got into trouble last year, and I think we need to be careful again, we need to be smart about how we’re moving forward,” Ellmers said in an interview. “the first vote we take, or the second vote or the fifth vote, shouldn’t be on an issue where we know the millennials, social issues just aren’t important [to them].” [A “millennial” is someone in the 15-35 age group.] Nor is this only a dispute about timing:  according to other published reports, Ellmers has been pressuring House leaders to weaken the language of the bill. You can read National Right to Life’s statement on the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act here. _ Update as of Tuesday, January 20, 2015: In an extraordinary action, at about 2:30 PM EST today (Tuesday, Jan. 20), Congresswoman Renee Ellmers went to the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives and formally cancelled her co-sponsorship of the major priority of National and North Carolina Right to Life and other major pro-life groups — the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act (H.R. 36)! This means that Congresswoman Ellmers personally sought and received permission to remove her name from this vital pro-life bill — even though she voted for exactly the same legislation on June 18, 2013! The National Right to Life office in Washington says that withdrawal of cosponsorship on any kind of bill is very rare, and that such an action has occurred on pro-life legislation only a handful of times in the last three decades. The U.S. House of Representatives is scheduled to conduct a preparatory procedural vote on the issue on Wednesday, Jan. 21, and will then vote on whether to pass the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act (H.R. 36) on Thursday, Jan. 22. Click here to sign the petition to pass the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act (HR 36) and appeal to Rep. Ellmers to cease and desist efforts to torpedo the legislation.

National Right to Life Endorses Rep. George Holding Over Rep. Renee Ellmers

holdingfam Editors note: this was originally posted on National Right to Life News Today on March 21, 2016 WASHINGTON – National Right to Life, the federation of state right-to-life organizations, today announced its endorsement of Congressman George Holding in the June 7 Republican primary for North Carolina’s 2nd Congressional District. Holding is in a primary contest with Congresswoman Renee Ellmers, due to a redrawing of district lines resulting from a federal lawsuit. In a letter to Holding announcing their endorsement, National Right to Life leaders commended Holding for “maintaining a 100 percent pro-life voting record” during his years of service in the U.S. House of Representatives. National Right to Life also noted that Holding “co-sponsored and consistently supported the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act (H.R. 36), landmark legislation to protect unborn children at 20 weeks (i.e., after the fifth month), a point by which the unborn child is capable of experiencing great pain when being killed by dismemberment of other late abortion methods.” The letter notes that Rep. Holding’s record on that bill “contrasts sharply with the words and actions of your likely primary opponent, Rep. Renee Ellmers. There is no member of Congress in recent memory who has done greater harm to a major piece of pro-life legislation, while claiming to be pro-life, than Renee Ellmers.” “National Right to Life encourages all voters in the 2nd District to return Rep. Holding to the House to continue to work to advance vital pro-life public policies,” said Douglas Johnson, National Right to Life legislative director. “Great weight should be given to Rep. Holding’s consistent pro-life record, as contrasted with the extraordinary public attacks launched by Congresswoman Ellmers against the 20-week abortion ban.” The full text of the National Right to Life letter endorsing Congressman Holding is available here.

Notorious Late-Term Abortionist Closes Jacksonville, NC Facility

215 - CopyOn February 29, the Crist Clinic for Women closed its doors for good. Having performed over 57,991 abortions since its opening in 1973, this is great news for Jacksonville's mothers and babies, who are now safe from abortion in Onslow County. Abortionist Takey Crist alerted patients in a letter dated February 15 that the clinic would be closing "due to unforeseen circumstances." The letter further states that Crist is discontinuing his practice of medicine altogether. Crist was one of few abortionists in North Carolina who performed late abortions. He was known for attracting pregnant mothers from other counties, and even states as far away as New York, for late-term abortion procedures. Crist performed abortions up to 20 weeks of pregnancy in his free-standing clinic and later abortions at Onslow Memorial Hospital. In recent years, the hospital stopped allowing Crist to perform abortions in their facilities. Rep. Pat McElraft recalled Crist's gruesome practices: "It was 1978 when I was doing my practical for my medical laboratory technology degree at Onslow Memorial in Jacksonville. He was doing saline abortions... We heard that if the baby didn't die they turned them face down in the saline to drown them." Abortions at the Crist Clinic reached a high point of 2,594 in 1990. Numbers declined steadily over the next several decades with 335 abortions reported in 2014. The Crist Clinic was the only abortion facility in Onslow County and one of few in eastern North Carolina. Takey Crist has been a vocal opponent of recent pro-life legislation. Notably, Crist publicly fought efforts to improve safety regulations for abortion facilities. He also appeared in political advertisements attacking pro-life legislators. Dedicated pro-life advocates have stood witness outside of the Crist Clinic to offer mothers prayers and support for decades. Speaker Pro-Tempore of the NC House Paul Stam represented the local Right to Life affiliate in the 1980's when Crist sued the group for protesting his facility. The pro-lifers were never enjoined or convicted. In recent years, a Jacksonville 40 Days for Life group has held an annual campaign of prayer, fasting, and public witness centered at the Crist facility. They were thrilled to hear that the clinic would be closing during their fifth campaign this year. In fact, Jacksonville 40 Days for Life scheduled its midpoint rally for February 29 -- and instead held a victory rally as the clinic closed its doors for good that very day. While we cannot conclude with certainty the cause of the Crist Clinic's closing, we must acknowledge the hard work of local activists who have faithfully stood witness and prayed at the Crist Clinic for many decades. Additionally, we are grateful for the North Carolina legislators and constituents who have worked to institute the lifesaving policies passed by our state's General Assembly in recent years. Victories in eliminating state abortion funding, ensuring mothers' informed consent and waiting period prior to an abortion, and improving abortion facility safety regulations have had a lifesaving impact across our state. Whatever "unforeseen circumstances" caused Takey Crist to close his abortion business, we celebrate that no more children will die at this abortion facility.
  Abortion numbers provided by the NC DHHS State Center for Health Statistics. Link for: Takey Crist Letter to Patients Re: Clinic Closure