By Tony Perkins
It isn’t exactly flip-flop season in Washington — unless you’re Rep. Renee Ellmers (R). The North Carolina politician stunned everyone two weeks ago when the self-styled “pro-lifer” pulled the rug out from under a bill she supported in 2013 just hours before it was set to pass the House. The move, which threw cold water on the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, shocked and frustrated a city full of activists, who were looking forward to celebrating the first pro-life milestone of the 114th Congress on the anniversary of Roe v. Wade.
Ellmers, who, two years earlier, had voted for the same language on the 20-week abortion ban, suddenly objected to a reporting requirement that, if excluded, could render the bill moot. Hundreds of students in town for the March for Life packed the hallways in protest outside of Ellmers’s office, while other groups didn’t mince words about her betrayal.
Now, after two weeks on the hot seat, the congresswoman seems to be cracking under the pressure and is lashing out at the very pro-lifers who helped elect her. In a new op-ed, she desperately tries to justify her actions before ripping into the pro-life groups who held her accountable. “I am appalled by the abhorrent and childish behaviors from some of the leaders of the outside groups,” she writes.
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Obviously, Ellmers, in her blind rage, has it all backwards. What’s abhorrent is the abortion of innocent unborn children who feel the excruciating pain of their execution at five months — a barbaric practice this bill would have helped prevent. Instead, the legislation was shelved for now, the victim of internal politics that have no place sidetracking a common sense, life-saving bill. The pro-life movement is right to be upset.
Tony Perkins is president of the Washington, D.C.-based Family Research Council. He is a former member of the Louisiana legislature where he served for eight years, and he is recognized as a legislative pioneer for authoring measures like the nation’s first Covenant Marriage law.
(Via FRC’s Washington Update. Tony Perkins’ Washington Update is written with the aid of FRC senior writers.)
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