Conservative groups urge McCarthy, Scalise to restrict abortion if GOP takes back House
The leaders of more than a dozen conservative groups wrote to top Republicans in the House on Tuesday, urging them to prioritize restrictions on abortions if the GOP retakes the majority in the House after the Supreme Court struck down the precedent of Roe v. Wade.
The letter to House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) and Minority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.), obtained first by The Hill, includes a call for Republicans to schedule a vote on the Heartbeat Protection Act, legislation that would prohibit abortions once a heartbeat is detected.
That law, which would mirror restrictive abortion laws in certain states, would go farther than the 15-week abortion ban proposed by some other lawmakers. The heartbeat bill, sponsored by Rep. Mike Kelly (R-Pa.), has been endorsed by the Republican Study Committee. It provides an exception in cases where the mother’s life is in danger.
The letter to McCarthy and Scalise also calls on Republicans to ensure federal budgets should end funding for abortion clinics “and work across committees to ensure a coordinated approach until the abortion industry becomes a dark memory of the past.”
“As pro-life leaders who have partnered with you in fighting for life, we know these efforts will give all Americans who care about the lives of unborn babies and their mothers great confidence that the new Congress will be leading the way in defense of life,” the letter states.
The letter is led by Jessica Anderson, executive director of Heritage Action for America, the advocacy arm of the Heritage Foundation.
Other signatories include Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of Susan B. Anthony Pro-Life America; Kevin Roberts, president of the Heritage Foundation; Jeanne Mancini, president of March for Life Action; Penny Nance, CEO of Concerned Women for America; and Kristian Hawkins, president of Students for Life Action.
The Supreme Court on Friday upheld Mississippi’s 15-week abortion ban, which directly clashed with the precedent set by Roe v. Wade that states permit abortion up to the point of fetal viability, around 24 weeks.
The reversal sent shock waves throughout the country, prompting celebration from conservatives who’d fought for years to overturn Roe, and triggering protests and outrage among liberals who expressed fear and frustration about the court rolling back rights for women to access reproductive care.
The decision also raises questions about what comes next. Several states have already moved to enact restrictions on abortions, while Democrats in blue states have vowed to protect abortion access. Some Republicans in Congress have signaled support for enacting a nationwide abortion ban, but Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said Monday such legislation would not have the votes to overcome the filibuster.