I was very upset when the Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Act was passed by the U.S. House of Representatives in June with a rape exception added to it. Just because I was conceived in rape doesn't mean my pain scale is different then a child conceived with wine and roses. The bill originally had no exceptions in it until Trent Franks' comment during a House Judiciary hearing on the bill on Wed., June 12, 2013. Trent stated that he objected to a rape exception being added because "the incidence of rape resulting in pregnancy are very low." This not only echoes the voice of Todd Akin last August, but also much of the leaders of the pro-life movement who tend to diminish the incidence of pregnancy by rape. "It's only 1%" is their motto, instead of just standing up to defend my life and other lives conceived out of rape.
All of the Democrats had opposed the original bill, but two pro-choice Democrats were trying to introduce a rape exception John Conyers from Michigan and Jerry Nadler from New York. Every single Republican UNANIMOUSLY voted against the rape exception amendment, citing that too much time would have gone by to justify a late-term abortion for this exception. This was on Wed., June 12th.
But Trent Franks' comments were quickly picked up by every liberal news media outlet, and by Saturday, we began hearing talk that a rape exception amendment was being introduced this time, by a Republican! In fact, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor of Virginia formally introduced the rape exception amendment on Monday, June 17th. Then on Tuesday, June 18th, the bill with the rape exception in it, was voted on and passed. 6 Democrats voted for it and 6 Republicans voted against it. 2 Republicans are from Georgia, whose Right to Life affiliate is a no exception / no compromise organization.
So how did this bill go from having EVERY Republican vote down a rape exception, to having nearly EVERY Republican vote FOR a rape exception? Well, pro-life leadership surely had a role, right? If there are political consequences like losing a PAC-endorsement, having their scorecard with NRLC affected, wouldn't that certainly make a difference? So what would any pro-life organization do? They would bring in people like me who was conceived in rape to show my value, to talk them out of supporting the exception. Right? Well I never received a call and no other member of Save The 1 has received a call yet either.
I was shocked to hear recently that a pro-life U.S. Congressman who is 100% pro-life, with no exceptions, voted for the Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, with rape exception added to it. This is because he said he was warned by National Right to Life that it would go against his "scorecard" if he tried to oppose the exceptions by voting against the bill with the exceptions in it. Why would a pro-life organization risk so much to pass a bill with exceptions especially when they had the votes a week before? Does this kind of bologna really happen? Then I received a copy of the letter sent to all of the pro-life members of Congress the night before the vote was to be taken on, confirming that this type of threat was really made.
For the past week, I debated blogging on this and publicly releasing the "smoking gun" letter. Many of my friends are with NRLC affiliates. I volunteer several days a week at a local affiliate. These are good pro-life people and I have nothing bad to say about any of the people who are working for and volunteering for Right to Life, they are my favorite people on earth! But this strategy from NRLC is degrading to me and my friends who fight every day to show the value of a child conceived in rape. It's not becoming of the pro-life movement and there is nothing honorable about it. Since the bill did not pass the Senate, it will surely be introduced again in the next Congress, and the same damaging tactic could be employed again. And so, I'm posting this letter with great sadness, but I feel that these tactics are a virus and the only way to be healed from it is to expose it. So I am posting the NRLC letter below. Now can anyone say to me that this letter is honorable? Is this manipulating and threatening? Is it a form of slander to a good pro-life Congressmen who take an honorable stand against the rape exception? Do Paul Braun and Rob Woodall of Georgia deserve to have NLRC tell their pro-life supporters nationwide that these good men are pro-choice and that they support the killing of babies after six months gestation? Even if you support compromise, do you support these tactics? Does Eric Cantor deserve a RTL PAC-endorsement while Paul Braun and Rob Woodall get trashed? I'd like to hear from all of you after reading the letter below. Is this what you stand for? Or does the pro-life movement need to change its strategies and get serious about protecting all?
-- Monica Kelsey
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