On the eve of a vote on a national abortion ban (and the National March for Life, which, regrettably, I had to miss this year, as I've got a thing), Republican leaders in Congress are experiencing a revolt from an unlikely source: Republican women.
According to Politico, the uprising, spearheaded by North Carolina's Renee Ellmers, survived male attempts to quash it this weekend and is now being dealt with in a series of emergency meetings. At issue is language in the bill, which aims to ban abortions after 20 weeks' gestation unless the pregnant woman's life is in danger, or if she's a victim of rape or incest that she reported to police. Ellmers, along with two dozen other members of Congress, have taken issue with the requirement that a woman get the police involved in order to access abortion care, which, I mean. Yeah. It's probably a bad idea to put access to medical care in the hands of a group of mostly men who are, demographically, twice as likely to abuse their romantic partners than the rest of the population.
As long as Obama's in the White House, there's no way GOP whackadoodlery like this will actually become law. But it should become something else: another reason for Democrats to get their asses to the polls in 2016.
Politico's got a very Politico takeaway, in which they call the whole thing "bad optics":
The optics of a large number of women opposing a piece of abortion legislation could be politically tricky for the party, which has had to counter Democratic accusations that it's waging a "war on women."
It's also "stupid policy." According to Politico, GOP leaders are attempting to "tweak" the bill so that Ellmers and company are satisfied with it, but that puts the GOP on morally treacherous ground with the contingent of pro-life voters who believe that whether or not a woman was raped or otherwise victimized doesn't change the humanity of the resulting zygote. If abortion is "murder," then why should there be any exceptions at all? And if aborting a pregnancy conceived in rape is morally acceptable, but aborting one conceived in love is not, isn't childbirth just physical punishment for a woman experiencing sexual pleasure? And—oh, never mind. We'll have plenty of time to go over all of this over the next 21-plus months before the next election. Heaven help us.
Image via Getty.