The Supreme Court is expected soon to announce a pivotal ruling that could overturn Roe, so Republican lawmakers are using a procedural tactic for a House vote on recognizing life at conception.
“We could put the most benign, most modest life proposal forward and get zero Democrat votes, or we could put a bold, strong life proposal forward and get zero Democrat votes in this Congress,” Rep. Bob Good, R-Va., who started a discharge petition on a bill, told The Daily Signal in an interview at the Capitol.
Good’s discharge petition to force one-hour of floor debate and a House vote has 60 cosponsors. House rules state that a discharge petition that has 218 signatures is sufficient to force the full House vote. The Life at Conception Act has over 150 cosponsors. The Democrats hold a narrow House minority of 220 to 209 Republicans.
Rep. Alex Mooney, R.W. Va., sponsored Life at Conception legislation. While it is not a national ban on abortion, if passed, it would mean Congress recognizes the right to life at conception.
“Here, the science is very clear. Every biology-knowledgeable person in the world can tell you that human life begins at conception,” Mooney told The Daily Signal in a phone interview. “It’s a biological fact. The beginning of life for all species is at conception. It is a fact.”
“The whole basis of Roe v. Wade is that life is not defined when it begins. It explicitly said Congress does not define life,” Mooney added. “The main purpose of the bill is that Roe v. Wade is not necessary because Congress defines life at conception now. All that would do is return it to the states to enforce or or not enforce it.”
In May, a draft decision in the Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization case leaked showing a majority of the high court is expected to overturn the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision that nationalized the abortion issue.
Following the leak, Rep. Diana DeGette (D-Colo.), the chairwoman for the House Pro-Choice Caucus, stated that Congress must enshrine the right to abortion in federal law.
“We are still fighting every day to protect and expand abortion access across the country,” DeGette saidIn a public statement. “And, now more than ever, we need our colleagues in the U.S. Senate to do the same by passing the Women’s Health Protection Act immediately to enshrine the right to access abortion care into federal law.”
Both parties have used this discharge petition strategy which is rarely successful. Democrats have repeatedly warned against this strategy and repeatedly said that the majority backs abortion. Therefore, they would be motivated to see such a vote.
“It would force a floor vote if we could get to 218, which obviously we know is a very long shot in this Congress,” Good said.
“Democrats are so radically extreme on abortion, they have become where they have embraced themselves as the party of death who does not believe in any restriction on abortion at any time for any reason, up until and perhaps beyond the moment of birth at taxpayer expense,” he added. “So they are the extremists … So, we should embrace the mantra as the party of life.”
Jessica Anderson, Heritage Action executive director, supports the discharge petition.
“In the face of the left’s crusade to promote abortion for all, Rep. Good continues to be a stalwart advocate for the unborn and his leadership on pro-life issues should be lauded,” Anderson saidin a public statement. “The unborn are our most vulnerable population and we find hope in knowing that Rep. Good will not be deterred from his mission to protect life.”
Heritage Action is The Heritage Foundation’s advocacy arm, which is also The Daily Signal’s parent organization.
Mooney claimed that it would be difficult to address biology in the future abortion argument.
“It makes it harder for the pro-abortion community to explain why they are OK with abortion knowing that it is a human life,” Mooney said. “So they just don’t want to admit that. But it is a biological fact.”
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