GOP pushes abortion bill through House after earlier stumble

Before you go, we thought you'd like these...
39 PHOTOS
Abortion Bill and Protests - updated to include kansas 6/25
See Gallery
GOP pushes abortion bill through House after earlier stumble
Hundreds of abortion opponents rally at the Kansas Statehouse, Thursday, Jan. 22, 2015, in Topeka, Kan. The rally was sponsored by Kansans for Life and marked the 42nd anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court decision legalizing abortion across the nation. (AP Photo/John Hanna)
Rep. Vicky Hartzler, R-Mo., center, speaks during a news conference on the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, May 13, 2015. Republicans predicted House passage Wednesday of the late-term abortion ban after dropping rape provisions that angered female GOP lawmakers and forced party leaders into an embarrassing retreat. Rep. Ann Wagner, R-Mo., listens at right. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)
WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 21: Anti-abortion advocates stage a 'die-in' protest at Lafayette Square near the White House January 21, 2015 in Washington, DC. In a written statement on Tuesday, the Obama administration denounced a GOP-backed bill that would ban abortions after 20 weeks and suggested the President would veto H. R. 36 - Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act if the bill reached his desk. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
Roy Rohn, 87, of Riverdale, Md., carries a cross that says "abort abortion" as anti-abortion demonstrators march toward the Supreme Court in Washington, Thursday, Jan. 22, 2015, during the annual March for Life on the National Mall. Thousands of anti-abortion demonstrators are gathering in Washington for an annual march to protest the Supreme Court's landmark 1973 decision that declared a constitutional right to abortion. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)
Hundreds of abortion opponents rally outside the Kansas Statehouse and hear a speech by U.S. Rep. Tim Huelskamp, Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2014, in Topeka, Kan. The demonstrators were marking the anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court decision legalizing abortion across the nation. (AP Photo/John Hanna)
Abortion opponents from across Kansas rally outside the Statehouse, Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2014, in Topeka, Kan. Hundreds marked the anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court decision legalizing abortion nationwide. (AP Photo/John Hanna)
Kansas state Reps. Stephanie Clayton, left, R-Overland Park, and Don Hineman, right, R-Dighton, talk before the House convenes to consider abortion legislation at the Statehouse in Topeka, Kan. on Saturday, May 30, 2015. The measure makes a technical change designed to allow the state to enforce its ban on what critics call "webcam" abortions. (AP Photo/Nicholas Clayton)
Kansas House Speaker Ray Merrick, a Stilwell Republican, follows a House debate on a bill banning a procedure described by abortion opponents as dismembering a fetus, Wednesday, March 25, 2015, at the Statehouse in Topeka, Kan. The proposal comes from the National Right to Life Committee, which sees it as model legislation for states. (AP Photo/John Hanna)
Kathy Ostrowski, legislative director for the anti-abortion group Kansans for Life, testifies during a Kansas Senate committee hearing in favor of a bill making a technical change in a 2011 law regulating abortion clinics, Wednesday, May 13, 2015, at the Statehouse in Topeka, Kan. Supporters believe the bill will help narrow a lawsuit that's blocked the law from being enforced. (AP Photo/John Hanna)
Kansas House members, from left; Mark Kahrs, of Wichita; Steve Brunk, of Wichita, and John Rubin, of Shawnee, confer during the chamber's debate on anti-abortion legislation, Wednesday, March 25, 2015, as legislative pages wait in the background at the Statehouse in Topeka, Kan. The three Republicans support the bill, which bans a procedure described by abortion opponents as dismembering a fetus. (AP Photo/John Hanna)
FILE - In this Jan. 22, 2013 file photo, Kansas Republican Gov. Sam Brownback speaks during a pro-life rally outside the Kansas Statehouse in Topeka, Kan. Brownback, a strong abortion opponent, signed a bill Tuesday, April 7, 2015 making Kansas the first state to ban a common second-trimester abortion procedure that critics describe as dismembering a fetus. (AP Photo/Orlin Wagner, File)
Rep. Trent Franks, R-Ariz., center, speaks during a news conference on the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, May 13, 2015. Republicans predicted House passage Wednesday of the late-term abortion ban after dropping rape provisions that angered female GOP lawmakers and forced party leaders into an embarrassing retreat. Franks is joined by, from left, Rep. Joseph Pitts, R-Pa., Rep. Marcia Blackburn, R-Tenn., Rep. Chris Smith, R-N.J., Rep. Vicky Hartzler, R-Tenn., Rep. Mike Kelly, R-Pa., and Rep. Diane Black, R-Tenn. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)
Anti-abortion demonstrators marched through Washington Thursday in an annual event to mark the anniversary of the Supreme Court decision to legalize abortion. (Jan. 22)
Pro-abortion rights counter protesters hold signs as police hold a line, while anti-abortion demonstrators march past the Supreme Court in Washington, Thursday, Jan. 22, 2015, during the annual March for Life. Thousands of anti-abortion demonstrators are gathering in Washington for an annual march to protest the Supreme Court's landmark 1973 decision that declared a constitutional right to abortion. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)
Anti-abortion demonstrators march past the Supreme Court in Washington, Thursday, Jan. 22, 2015, during the annual March for Life. Thousands of anti-abortion demonstrators are gathering in Washington for an annual march to protest the Supreme Court's landmark 1973 decision that declared a constitutional right to abortion. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)
Pro-life and anti-abortion demonstrators converge in front of the Supreme Court in Washington, Thursday, Jan. 22, 2015, during the annual March for Life. Thousands of anti-abortion demonstrators gathered in Washington for an annual march to protest the Supreme Court's landmark 1973 decision that declared a constitutional right to abortion. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)
A prayer circle forms as police guard the Supreme Court, during an anti-abortion march and rally by the Supreme Court at the annual March for Life on the National Mall, Thursday, Jan. 22, 2015, in Washington. Thousands of anti-abortion demonstrators are gathering in Washington for an annual march to protest the Supreme Court's landmark 1973 decision that declared a constitutional right to abortion. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)
Jeanne Basinger, of Linville, Va., who works in "after-abortion care," prays as she gets emotional while listening to speeches with other anti-abortion demonstrators during the annual March for Life on the National Mall in Washington, Thursday, Jan. 22, 2015. Thousands of anti-abortion demonstrators are gathering in Washington for an annual march to protest the Supreme Court's landmark 1973 decision that declared a constitutional right to abortion. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)
Motorcycle police escort anti-abortion demonstrators during the annual March for Life, Thursday, Jan. 22, 2015, on the National Mall in Washington. Thousands of anti-abortion demonstrators are gathering in Washington for an annual march to protest the Supreme Court's landmark 1973 decision that declared a constitutional right to abortion. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)
US Capitol police officers line-up in front of pro-abortion rights demonstrators who temporarily halted the annual March for Life, Thursday, Jan. 22, 2015, at the Supreme Court in Washington. Thousands of anti-abortion demonstrators are gathering in Washington for an annual march to protest the Supreme Court's landmark 1973 decision that declared a constitutional right to abortion. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)
Anti-abortion demonstrators march past the Supreme Court in Washington, Thursday, Jan. 22, 2015, during the annual March for Life. Thousands of anti-abortion demonstrators are gathering in Washington for an annual march to protest the Supreme Court's landmark 1973 decision that declared a constitutional right to abortion. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)
Lauren Sandy, 18, third from left, Afure Adah, 17, right, of Shanley High School in Fargo, N.D., and others pray as they attend an anti-abortion rally at the annual March for Life, Thursday, Jan. 22, 2015, on the National Mall in Washington. Thousands of anti-abortion demonstrators are gathering in Washington for an annual march to protest the Supreme Court's landmark 1973 decision that declared a constitutional right to abortion. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)
Rosie Mami, center, and her sister Ayleana Mami, 19, of Cullman, Alabama, right, sit on their friends' shoulders as they lead a chant about loving babies, with other members of St. Bernard Prep, as anti-abortion demonstrators rally at the annual March for Life, Thursday, Jan. 22, 2015, on the National Mall in Washington. Thousands of anti-abortion demonstrators are gathering in Washington for an annual march to protest the Supreme Court's landmark 1973 decision that declared a constitutional right to abortion. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)
Dan Ross of Washington, who is originally from Venezuela, dressed in the "armor of God" attend an anti-abortion rally at the annual March for Life, Thursday, Jan. 22, 2015, on the National Mall in Washington. Thousands of anti-abortion demonstrators are gathering in Washington for an annual march to protest the Supreme Court's landmark 1973 decision that declared a constitutional right to abortion. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)
Lauren Sandy, 18, front left, and Afure Adah, 17, of Fargo, N.D., pray as they attend an anti-abortion rally at the annual March for Life, Thursday, Jan. 22, 2015, on the National Mall in Washington. Thousands of anti-abortion demonstrators are gathering in Washington for an annual march to protest the Supreme Court's landmark 1973 decision that declared a constitutional right to abortion. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)
Anti-abortion demonstrators head towards the Supreme Court in Washington, Thursday, Jan. 22, 2015, during the annual March for Life. Thousands of anti-abortion demonstrators gathered in Washington for an annual march to protest the Supreme Court's landmark 1973 decision that declared a constitutional right to abortion. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)
Anti-abortion demonstrators march past the Capitol in Washington, Thursday, Jan. 22, 2015, en route to the Supreme Court during the annual March for Life. Thousands of anti-abortion demonstrators gathered in Washington for an annual march to protest the Supreme Court's landmark 1973 decision that declared a constitutional right to abortion. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)
Pro-abortion rights supporters hold up signs in front of the Supreme Court in Washington, Thursday, Jan. 22, 2015, as they wait for the arrival of anti-abortion demonstrators during the annual March for Life. Thousands of anti-abortion demonstrators gathered in Washington for an annual march to protest the Supreme Court's landmark 1973 decision that declared a constitutional right to abortion. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)
People watch as anti-abortion demonstrators walk near the Capitol in Washington, Thursday, Jan. 22, 2015, during the annual March for Life. Thousands of anti-abortion demonstrators are gathering in Washington for an annual march to protest the Supreme Court's landmark 1973 decision that declared a constitutional right to abortion. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)
Marchers gather for the an anti-abortion rally during the annual March for Life, Thursday, Jan. 22, 2015, on the National Mall in Washington. Thousands of anti-abortion demonstrators are gathering in Washington for an annual march to protest the Supreme Court's landmark 1973 decision that declared a constitutional right to abortion. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)
Former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum stops to poses for photographs during an anti-abortion rally at the annual March for Life, Thursday, Jan. 22, 2015, on the National Mall in Washington. Thousands of anti-abortion demonstrators are gathering in Washington for an annual march to protest the Supreme Court’s landmark 1973 decision that declared a constitutional right to abortion. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)
Whitney Burke, 15, from Monroeville, Pa., holds up a sign during an anti-abortion rally at the annual March for Life, Thursday, Jan. 22, 2015, on the National Mall in Washington. Thousands of anti-abortion demonstrators are gathering in Washington for an annual march to protest the Supreme Court’s landmark 1973 decision that declared a constitutional right to abortion. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)
FILE - In this Jan. 16, 2015 file photo, President Barack Obama speaks in the East Room of the White House in Washington. President Barack Obama is vowing to veto a Republican-backed bill that would ban abortions after the first 20 weeks of pregnancy, as well as a measure that would require a decision on pipeline construction within 12 months. The White House says the abortion bill is an "assault" on a woman's right to choice and "unacceptably restricts" health and reproductive rights. House consideration of the measure this week coincides with the anniversary of the landmark Supreme Court ruling in Roe versus Wade that legalized abortion. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster, File)
WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 21: Anti-abortion advocates stage a 'die-in' protest at Lafayette Square near the White House January 21, 2015 in Washington, DC. In a written statement on Tuesday, the Obama administration denounced a GOP-backed bill that would ban abortions after 20 weeks and suggested the President would veto H. R. 36 - Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act if the bill reached his desk. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 21: Anti-abortion advocates stage a 'die-in' protest at Lafayette Square near the White House January 21, 2015 in Washington, DC. In a written statement on Tuesday, the Obama administration denounced a GOP-backed bill that would ban abortions after 20 weeks and suggested the President would veto H. R. 36 - Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act if the bill reached his desk. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 21: Anti-abortion advocates stage a 'die-in' protest at Lafayette Square near the White House January 21, 2015 in Washington, DC. In a written statement on Tuesday, the Obama administration denounced a GOP-backed bill that would ban abortions after 20 weeks and suggested the President would veto H. R. 36 - Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act if the bill reached his desk. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 21: Anti-abortion advocates stage a 'die-in' protest at Lafayette Square near the White House January 21, 2015 in Washington, DC. In a written statement on Tuesday, the Obama administration denounced a GOP-backed bill that would ban abortions after 20 weeks and suggested the President would veto H. R. 36 - Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act if the bill reached his desk. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
In one of the House GOP's first chances to challenge President Obama, a controversial abortion limit never even made it out of the chamber.
of
SEE ALL
BACK TO SLIDE
SHOW CAPTION +
HIDE CAPTION


WASHINGTON (AP) -- As thousands of abortion foes surged through the city on their annual protest march to the Supreme Court, Republicans muscled legislation through the House on Thursday tightening federal restrictions on abortions. The vote came after internal divisions forced them into an embarrassing fumble of a similar bill.

Even as a White House veto threat all but ensured the bill would never become law, the House voted by a near party-line 242-179 to permanently bar federal funds for any abortion coverage. The measure would also block tax credits for many people and businesses buying abortion coverage under President Barack Obama's health care law.

GOP leaders pushed the measure to the House floor hours after abruptly abandoning another bill banning most late-term abortions because a rebellion led by female Republican lawmakers left them short of votes.

While that stumble underscored the challenges GOP leaders face in controlling their newly enlarged House majority, they were eager to act the same day that March for Life protesters streamed through town to protest the Supreme Court's 1973 Roe v. Wade decision legalizing abortion.

"I urge my colleagues to stand with the hundreds of thousands of people out on the Mall right now by voting for this bill," said House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif. "Stand up and commit to creating an America that values every life."

Democrats accused the GOP of an assault on women's freedom and painted Republicans as trying to placate the marchers not far from the Capitol.

"They certainly wanted to appeal, I would say pander, to that group," said Rep. Janice Schakowsky, D-Ill.

"Women's rights should not be theater, should not be drama," said Rep. Steve Cohen, D-Tenn.

The approved bill would permanently ban the use of federal money for nearly all abortions - a prohibition that's already in effect but which Congress must renew each year.

It would also go further. The bill would bar individuals and many employers from collecting tax credits for insurance plans covering abortion that they pay for privately and purchase through exchanges established under Obama's Affordable Care Act. It would also block the District of Columbia from using its money to cover abortions for lower-income women.

The House had approved the same measure last year but it went nowhere in the Senate, then run by Democrats. Its fate in this year's GOP-led Senate is uncertain.

In its veto message, the White House said, "The administration strongly opposes legislation that unnecessarily restricts women's reproductive freedom and consumers' private insurance options."

The action came the day of the annual March for Life protesting the Supreme Court's 1973 decision legalizing abortion. It also came with GOP leaders eager to showcase the ability of the new Republican-led Congress to govern efficiently and avoid gridlock.

The bill that was postponed would have banned abortions after the 20th week of pregnancy but allow exemptions for some victims of rape or incest and in cases when a woman's life was in danger. GOP leaders ran into problems because some GOP women and other lawmakers objected that the rape and incest exemptions covered only women who had reported the crimes to authorities.

Those rebellious Republicans argued that that requirement put unfair pressure on women who had already suffered. A 2013 Justice Department report calculated that only 35 percent of rapes and sexual assaults were reported to police.

Political pressures cut both ways. GOP leaders had resisted the awkwardness of postponing a high-profile abortion vote scheduled for the day of the anti-abortion march. But they didn't want to push anti-abortion legislation through the House that was opposed by GOP women, especially as the party tries appealing to more female voters ahead of the 2016 elections.

Yet when the leaders considered eliminating the requirement that rapes and incest be previously reported, they encountered objections from anti-abortion groups, Republican aides said. They chose not to anger that powerful GOP constituency.

A report Tuesday by the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office, citing the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, estimated that about 10,000 abortions annually are performed 20 weeks or later into pregnancies. The budget office estimated that if the bill became law, three-fourths of those abortions would instead occur before the 20th week.

White House Threatens To Veto Anti-Abortion Bill
More From AOL:
US Senate finally admits climate change is real
Prince Andrew denies claims he had sex with underage girl
Yemen president resigns under pressure from rebels
Read Full Story

People are Reading