Some parties were saying Rep. Ellmers withdrawal of her sponsorship for the bill was a flip-flop or stab in the back.
Others said Rep. Ellmers is firmly pro-life and her withdrawal was a matter of disagreeing with language added to the 2015 version of H.R. 26. These folks would be correct.
Rep. Ellmers office issued this statement yesterday, emphasis added:
WASHINGTON – Congresswoman Renee Ellmers (R-NC-02) released the below statement following today’s vote on H.R. 7 – No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion and Abortion Insurance Full Disclosure Act of 2015:
“I am proud to vote in favor H.R. 7 as it is conservative legislation that advances the pro-life cause and guarantees that no taxpayer dollars are spent funding abortion. Additionally, I will continue working with all of my colleagues to address our concerns with language in H.R. 36. Our goal is to find a way to get this legislation in its best possible form, and I remain fully committed to bringing this legislation to the House floor for a vote.”
Said language dealt with rape and mandatory reporting.
I believe this is the section (ii) under scrutiny:
`(B) Subject to subparagraph (C), subparagraph (A) does
not apply if–
“(i) in reasonable medical judgment, the abortion
is necessary to save the life of a pregnant woman whose
life is endangered by a physical disorder, physical
illness, or physical injury, including a life-
endangering physical condition caused by or arising
from the pregnancy itself, but not including
psychological or emotional conditions; or
“(ii) the pregnancy is the result of rape, or the
result of incest against a minor, if the rape has been
reported at any time prior to the abortion to an
appropriate law enforcement agency, or if the incest
against a minor has been reported at any time prior to
the abortion to an appropriate law enforcement agency
or to a government agency legally authorized to act on
reports of child abuse or neglect.
The language that upset a number of GOP women (and men) and was brought to Rep. Ellmers, as she is chair of policy committee. It is my understanding that Rep. Ellmers then took the concerns to the leadership; multiple meetings and discussions arose, of which apparently Ellmers was not privy to some of them.
This language, from what sources tell me, was originally in the text of a ‘rule’, which was originally voted on separately. This latest incarnation of H.R. 36 had incorporated that rule text, hence the maneuvering that took place.
Some background on that ‘rule’
In 2013, House Res. 266 was the rule where the ‘mandatory reporting language’ resided.
However, from what was explained to me, this rule was a combined rule with what would become known as the ‘Farm Bill’. What this meant was that the combined rule prohibits the ability for Members to vote against passage.
To expand on that, a no vote on this particular combined rule would have resulted in Republicans voting against a provision of the Farm bill. As Rep. Ellmers represents a strong agricultural district, there was no way they would likely have voted against this provision within the Farm Bill.
- Full text of H.R. 36