Pro-life politicos were pleasantly surprised yesterday when House Democrats failed to attach hostile amendments to two pro-life riders that were part of the Financial Services Appropriations bill, which passed 228-195.
During committee debate, House Pro-Choice Caucus Co-Chair Rep. Louise Slaughter expressed her disdain for both the Harris Amendment, which ensures Multi-State Plans under Obamacare do not cover elective abortions, and the DC Hyde Amendment, which blocks federal funding for most abortions. So did the White House in a statement, and District of Columbia Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton squawked about DC Hyde during the Rule debate.
Even had they not publicly griped, Democrats as a matter of course add hostile amendments to these annual pro-life riders, even if it’s obvious they’ll lose. (The amendments, if passed, would gut the riders.) They like to showboat.
But yesterday the hostile amendments never materialized. Why?
Abortion activists can’t walk and chew gum?
This was a calculated decision, because even though yesterday was a big day for abortion proponents in the Senate, there were certainly enough members in their cabal to stir trouble in the House.
Yesterday the Senate held a vote on the dubbed “Not My Boss’s Business” bill, which sought to overturn the Supreme Court’s Hobby Lobby decision. Abortion proponents considered this a a great opportunity to advance the “war on women” meme, even if passage was impossible. Never mind the House, the bill needed 60 votes to break the Republican filibuster in the Senate and failed, 56-43.
Also yesterday, the Senate Judiciary Committee debated the inaptly named “Women’s Health Protection Act,” which would invalidate all state laws that limit access to abortion in any way – parental notification, waiting periods, clinic regulations, etc.
This is another pro-abortion bill that stands zero chance of making it to the president’s desk.
While abortion proponents obviously wanted to highlight offensive rather than defensive moves yesterday, they still could have done both.
But they didn’t.
It’s really about abortion funding, but shhh
The working theory among pro-lifers on the Hill is abortion proponents were afraid if they forced a vote on abortion funding with their hostile amendments, it would show their true colors and detract from their contraception and women’s health messaging.
The pro-abortion agenda is indeed to make taxpayers fund abortion. But they didn’t want to muddy the messaging yesterday.