Late-term abortion ban keeps controversial incest rule

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Newly unveiled language in the House’s late-term abortion bill shows that GOP leaders did not meet all of the demands from members of their party who had opposed an earlier version, keeping in limits on incest-related abortion.

House Republicans, led by Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (Calif.), eliminated a controversial rule that would have required rape victims to report their crimes to the police before undergoing the procedure.

{mosads}But the bill did not change a provision that allows victims of incest to receive an abortion only if they are under 18 years old, according to a draft released Monday.

The language could spell trouble for GOP leaders, who plan to make a second attempt at passing the legislation Wednesday.

The bill, which would ban abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy, was yanked from the House floor in January after a group of centrists and GOP women led by Rep. Renee Ellmers (N.C.) voiced concerns about rape and incest victims.

Still, Republicans are still expecting broad support for the bill.

“We know of no opposition to that provision and are confident the bill will pass with strong Republican support,” Destiny Decker, a spokeswoman for Rep. Trent Franks, the bill’s lead sponsor, wrote in an email. 
Blair Ellis, a spokeswoman for Ellmers, declined to say whether the congresswoman supports the bill, though he said the office plans to release a statement following the vote on Wednesday.

“Incest is incest. There can’t really be a cutoff age,” Ellmers told National Journal last month.

The new version of the House bill also includes a two-day waiting period for rape victims. Doctors must also ensure that victims have received medical treatment or counseling during that time.

A doctor performing an abortion on any minor who became pregnant as the result of rape or incest must notify the police or social services “to ensure the safety of the child and stop any ongoing abuse.”

The bill will head to the House Rules Committee for discussion Tuesday afternoon.

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