New GOP Congress Readies Wave Of Attacks On Abortion Rights

ASSOCIATED PRESS
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Though abortion wasn’t much of an issue in the 2014 elections, the new Republican Congress is already preparing a series of attacks on abortion rights — this time with women leading the charge.

Less than one day into the 114th Congress, House Republicans reintroduced their bill to ban abortion after 20 weeks of pregnancy. The Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, previously offered by Rep. Trent Franks (R-AZ), was co-introduced this week by Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN).

On Thursday, Rep. Diane Black (R-TN) led more than 80 colleagues in re-introducing the Title X Abortion Provider Prohibition Act, which would rescind federal funding for Planned Parenthood.

“Planned Parenthood and organizations like it that profit off the destruction of innocent life do not deserve one more dime from American taxpayers,” Black said.

These sorts of bills have comfortably passed the House in recent years, only to be thrown in the trash by the Democratic-led Senate. But newly minted Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) promised during the 2014 campaign to fight abortion rights if his party won control of the upper chamber.

If he were majority leader “we would have already had a vote” on a 20-week abortion ban, McConnell told constituents last June, according to the Louisville Courier-Journal.

Republicans have entered 2015 with a renewed confidence, demonstrating no interest in letting up on their anti-abortion platform but mindful of the blunders on women’s reproductive issues that have cost them dearly in recent years.

The party blew two winnable Senate seats in 2012 after candidates made controversial comments about rape. In 2013, Franks was yanked as floor leader of the 20-week ban after he said, “The incidence of rape resulting in pregnancy are very low.”

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Sahil Kapur is TPM's senior congressional reporter and Supreme Court correspondent. His articles have been published in the Huffington Post, The Guardian and The New Republic. Email him at sahil@talkingpointsmemo.com and follow him on Twitter at @sahilkapur.
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