While tens of thousands of pro-life marchers teemed the streets outside the Capitol, the House voted Thursday to cement a ban on taxpayer funding for abortions under Obamacare.
Republican leaders had hoped to deliver much more to the marchers — a groundbreaking vote on a bill to ban abortions after 20 weeks, or the point at which some scientists say a fetus can feel pain. But divisions within the party caused them to squelch that bill at the last minute and replace it with the taxpayer-funding measure, which has cleared the House.
Pro-life lawmakers vowed to return to the 20-week ban soon, once they work out exceptions for women who are raped. But in the meantime, they said the Obamacare funding ban should be a signal that the new Republican-led Congress intends to move pro-life legislation when it can.
“When there is disagreement, we should pause and listen closely,” said House Speaker John A. Boehner, Ohio Republican. “When there is movement, we should rejoice, and the House’s vote to ban taxpayer funding of abortion is cause for doing so.”