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.