GOP House stands ‘unapologetically for life,' says Cantor

House Majority Leader Eric CantorEric CantorWhat to watch for in Comey’s testimony Trump nominates two new DOD officials Brat: New ObamaCare repeal bill has 'significant' changes MORE (R-Va.) vowed Monday to leverage the "biggest and the most pro-life freshman class in memory" to institute a "permanent government-wide prohibition on taxpayer funding of abortion."

Cantor told the tens of thousands of anti-abortion protesters in town for the annual March for Life event that the legislation faces "an uphill battle in the Senate and in the White House," but that "the people's House will stand unapologetically for life."

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"Now the tide has turned," Cantor said. "Thanks to your support last November, there's a new majority in town."

About a dozen lawmakers addressed the crowd for the annual protest that marks the Supreme Court's 1973 Roe vs. Wade decision on abortion. Rep. Chris Smith (R-N.J.), the co-chairman of the Congressional Pro-Life Caucus, was the first to speak. He vowed to press forward with his bill that establishes a permanent, government-wide prohibition on federal subsidies for abortion and for healthcare plans that cover abortion.

"We need your help in persuading the abortion president, who put abortion in ObamaCare — not withstanding a flawed executive order — to get this legislation passed," Smith said.

Sen. Roger WickerRoger WickerGOP senator: 'Everybody wants to get to yes' on healthcare Overnight Defense: GOP chairman moves ahead with 0B defense bill | Lawmakers eye 355 ship navy | Senate panel seeks answers on shoot down of Syrian jet The Hill's Whip List: GOP undecided, 'no' votes pile up on ObamaCare repeal bill MORE (R-Miss.) said he'd introduce legislation Tuesday that establishes in law that human life begins at conception. Wicker argues that the Supreme Court did not tie the hands of Congress in its Roe vs. Wade decision, because its decision left unresolved the question of when life begins and explicitly acknowledged that if "personhood is established, the appellant's case, of course, collapses, for the fetus' right to life is then guaranteed specifically by the [14th] Amendment."

The bill currently has five co-sponsors — Republican Sens. Richard Burr (N.C.), Mike Enzi (Wyo.), Jerry MoranJerry MoranGOP infighting erupts over healthcare bill Overnight Healthcare: Senate delays ObamaCare vote past recess | Trump says GOP 'very close' to deal | Three more senators come out against bill Three more GOP senators announce opposition to healthcare bill MORE (Kan.), Rand PaulRand PaulPaul: ‘I get the sense we’re still at an impasse’ on healthcare Healthcare wish lists: What moderates, conservatives want GOP infighting erupts over healthcare bill MORE (Ky.) and Roy BluntRoy BluntOvernight Regulation: Senate Banking panel huddles with regulators on bank relief | FCC proposes 2M fine on robocaller | Yellowstone grizzly loses endangered protection Overnight Finance: Big US banks pass Fed stress tests | Senate bill repeals most ObamaCare taxes | Senate expected to pass Russian sanctions bill for second time GOP senator: 'No reason' to try to work with Dems on healthcare MORE (Mo.) — with more expected to join after the bill is formally introduced. Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-Calif.) introduced companion legislation in the House last week.

"We're here today to say we're not going to abandon the fight [against abortion]," Wicker said. "Sometimes it's defensive in nature, and heavens knows we've had a lot to defend against in the last two or three years. ... Tomorrow we take an offensive, and I like that a lot better."