Is it possible during the tenure of a Republican-controlled Congress and presidency that pro-life legislation with an 80 percent public approval rating won’t pass?
Yes. And if that happens, the responsibility will rest solely with one man.
The measure in question would make it a federal crime for non-parental adults to traffic minor girls for abortions across state lines without notifying her parents. This closes a loophole currently enabling molesters and incest perpetrators not only to kill the evidence of their crime but repeat it.
The bottleneck on this bill is the U. S. Senate, where Republican Bill Frist is majority leader. He is the man.
The numbers could hardly be better for Frist. Senate Republicans enjoy a 55-45 majority. Its version of the bill, called the Child Custody Protection Act, passed overwhelmingly 65-34 in July. The House version, called the Child Interstate Abortion Notification Act, passed overwhelmingly last year 270-157. President Bush supports it.
We pro-lifers have done our part during the two months since Senate Democrats blocked CCPA from advancing. We have focused our ire on the obstructionists, who used procedural chicanery to block Senate and House designees from crafting a final, mutually acceptable version of CCPA/CIANA.
Supposed pro-life Democrat minority leader Harry Reid, who voted for the bill before trying to kill it, and second henchman in command Dick Durbin said they feared a Boxer-Ensign incest amendment wouldn’t make the final cut, even though First promised it would and pro-lifers supported it.
This was, of course, a ruse. And last night House Republicans brilliantly called Senate Democrats on their ruse by passing a new version of this legislation including the Boxer-Ensign amendment and kicking it back to the Senate.
Now only three days remain that the Senate is in session until after the election, at which time Frist will become a lame duck leader for his final two months.
Does Frist have the resolve to defend our girls from rapists? Does he have the guts to battle Democrats head-on to do so?
Frist must call for a vote on this legislation by Friday. Sixty ayes will be required to stop Democrats from filibustering. Even then, Democrats could demand 30 hours of debate, but the general consensus is they won’t. Do Democrats really want to spend 30 hours publicly explaining why they oppose legislation 80 percent of the country supports? Not likely, but if they do, we still win – not only the bill but the debate.
Since CCPA passed with 65 votes only two months ago, at least 60 ayes now would seem probable. But 14 of those 65 were Democrats – who proceeded to go silent on their leadership’s obstruction. They are part of the ruse. Not all 14 are pro-life. Some just voted to support parental notification to allay negative PR at home.
This is why it is important to push for a vote now, before the election. At this point all 14 can still tell constituents they support this legislation. But if Frist calls for another vote, phonies will either be drawn out and publicly exposed as they deserve, or they will be compelled to vote aye for fear of negative press. This pressure will evaporate after the election.
By the way, all this last-minute stuff is Frist’s own fault. DC pro-lifers implored him to present CCPA in 2004, but he did not. In early 2005, CCPA was put on the Republican Senate leadership’s Top 10 list, with the same request to introduce it then, but he did not. Frist created this time crunch.
This legislation can pass or fail now, pass or fail later, or die of neglect. The best strategy is to call for a vote now. Otherwise, Democrats will have blocked this critically important pro-life bill with no consequences. And perverts will continue to get away with raping young girls with no consequences.
Sen. Frist should keep ever before him the visual of just who does suffer the consequences of no interstate parental notification bill and press forward. The clock is ticking.
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