Today, several pro-life leaders from around the nation went to the officers of Speaker John Boehner with a message to GOP leaders: Pass the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act.
Even though the speaker knew the Free The Ban protest was scheduled well in advance, pro-lifers were disappointed when his staff was not available to speak with those who gathered at his office today.
The event follows a similar one in March where eight pro-life leaders were arrested during a sit-in outside Speaker John Boehner’s Office.
This time their numbers were much greater.
According to Operation Rescue, leaders present at the Speaker’s office today included Eric Scheidler of the Pro-Life Action League, Brian Gibson of Pro-Life Action Ministries, Walter and Lori Hoye of Issue 4 Life Foundation, Jeff While, Cheryl Conrad, and Jason Conrad of Survivors, Sarah Howell of CEC for Life, Bud Shaver and Pastor Manny Larzidabal, of Protest ABQ, and others.
House leaders originally planned to pass the late term abortion ban back in January until the vote was sabotaged by Rep. Renee Ellmers, who wanted to remove a rape reporting requirement in the legislation making it easier to get abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy.
Pro-life leaders say that at 20 weeks the unborn child can feel pain, and they were growing impatient that Republicans had not passed the bill.
Their gathering May 7th was intended to further pressure House leadership to get the legislation through and to give the Speaker fetal models of unborn children whose lives hang in the balance each day the bill’s passage is delayed.
As the group of pro-lifers reached the Speaker’s office, they knocked on Speaker John Boehner’s Office door and no one answered.
Rev. Pat Mahoney, who helped organize the protest, along with African American pastor Rev. Walter Hoye and others, said the group was using the Biblical analogy of the woman who approached the unjust judge and would not relent.
“I will say this,” Rev. Mahoney said after repeated attempts to knock at Speaker Boehner’s door, “it would be an absolute disgrace, is Speaker Boehner’s staff did not answer the door to the people who helped get him the largest Republican majority in this generation. It would be an absolute disgrace.”
Cheryl Sullenger, senior policy advisor for Operation Rescue, said that they believed that the Speaker was there but that his staff would not come to the door.
“They knew we were coming,” Sullenger said.
Rev. Walter Hoye and and his wife Lori held the exact replica model of a 20 week pre-born child, outside of the Longworth building where Speaker Boehner’s office is.
“My son was born at less than six months gestation.” Rev. Hoye said in advance of the protest.
“I held him in my right hand when he weighed a mere 1.9 pounds. There is no way I will support legislation that includes an exception for rape and fails to end abortion in the United States after 20 weeks.”
“I want Speaker Boehner to know that not only do Black Lives Matter but all lives matter,” Rev. Hoye said.
Outside, the pro-life group Survivors of the Abortion holocaust report that Rev. James Conrad, a sibling survivor, and his mother, also a sibling survivor from an illegal abortion, spoke at a press conference urging Speaker Boehner and the GOP House to pass the 20 Week Pain Capable Protection Act.
Bud Shaver Executive Director of Protest ABQ, said that he made two attempts to deliver a petition from New Mexicans and voices from all across the nation calling for a Ban on Late-Term Abortion, but that, “House speaker Boehner refused to open his constituents office to hear the desire of people representing states all across the nation who want to see an end of Late-Term Abortion in our country.”
“Boehner and his staff were well aware of our desire to speak with them today,” Shaver told Saynsumthn.
“It’s a huge disappointment that House Speaker Boehner closed his public office in Washington D.C. to the organizations, Pastors, and leaders from all across the country. In New Mexico it is the Radical pro-abortion Democrats that refused to allow a vote to end Late-Term Abortion. Now it’s the Republican majority in D.C. who are apparently doing the same thing,” Shaver said.
A few of the pro-lifers went back to the Speaker’s office later in the afternoon but again, no one would answer the door.
“I felt like we were being told that we didn’t matter and neither did the babies that this bill would save,” said Sullenger.
“It was disrespectful not to at lease send someone out so we could at least feel like we were heard. Instead, Boehner’s staff turned a blind eye and a deaf ear, not just to us, but also to plight of babies and their moms. It was disappointing, to say the least,” she concluded.
One day after the protest House majority leader Kevin McCarthy told THE WEEKLY STANDARD that the House of Representatives would vote on the bill next week.
According to House Republicans, the requirement that rapes be reported to law enforcement has been removed from the bill. Instead, the legislation requires abortion doctors to ensure that victims have received either medical treatment or licensed counseling at least 48 hours prior to the late-term procedure.
Steven Ertlet at Life News reports, that according to his sources, the rape exception language will be airtight by requiring some sort of documented medical treatment or counseling 48 hours prior to the abortion and provided by physicians or counselors that are outside of the abortion industry. In cases of rape or incest of a minor, the abuse must first be reported to either social service or law enforcement. In addition, abortionists are explicitly required to follow state mandatory reporting laws and state parental involvement laws.
LifeNews said that sources they are in contact with say that provisions of the bill include, “a born-alive infant protection requirement that requires a second doctor be present and prepared to provide care to the child if he or she is born alive and that the child must receive the same level of care as would any other premature infant. The baby must then be transported and admitted to a hospital. The woman is also empowered with a right to sue if the law is not followed, and is provided with an informed consent form that notifies her of the age of her baby and the requirements under the law.”
All late term abortions done under the exceptions, must be reported to the Center for Disease Control which will compile the data on a annual basis for public review, he said.
(NOTE: Pictures courtesy of Protest ABQ, Rev. Pat Mahoney, Cheryl Sullenger, Rev. Walter Hoye, Twitter, Brian Gibson, Eric Scheidler, and the others who attended.)