House Republicans decided late Wednesday evening to not vote on a bill that would ban most abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy due to objections from GOP women and a lack of support from other lawmakers that would leave them short of votes to pass the legislation.
ABC News reports that the lack of support and criticism of the “Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Act” was due in part to how the measure limited exemptions for victims of rape or incest to only those who had previously reported such instances to authorities.
The opposed argued that it would put unfair pressure on women who may feel shame or fear retaliation if they report assaults.
Two senior House GOP aides told CNN the late-term abortion bill would no longer be voted on but they would vote on a bill banning taxpayer-funded abortions.
"Some concerns were raised by men and women members that still need to be worked out," one of the aides said. "Tomorrow we will vote to advance the pro-life cause and remain committed to continue working through the process on pain capable to make sure it too is successful."
The discussion over the bill reportedly became so tense that aides were told to leave the meeting when the debate became emotional.
The vote was scheduled for today, January 22, the 42nd anniversary of the Supreme Court decision, Roe v. Wade, which gave women the right to privacy under the 14th amendment for abortions.
While two female Republican House members—Renee Ellmers of North Carolina and Jackie Walorski of Indiana—removed themselves as co-sponsors of the legislation Tuesday, Missouri Rep. Vicky Hartzler continues to support the bill.
"We're just figuring out the best way to get it passed in the long run. We will figure that out,” Hartzler said.
The primary author of the bill, Arizona GOP Rep. Trent Franks, believes that based on public opinion polls, the legislation is supported by Americans of all ages.
"Everything that I know about millennial voters, the younger voters, is that they are more pro-life than us old guys," Franks said.