Renee Ellmers Faces Pro-Life Primary Opponent After Sabotaging 20-Week Abortion Ban

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Apr 17, 2015   |   10:47AM   |   Washington, DC

In January, Congresswoman Renee Ellmers led the charge to sabotage the Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Act — a move that ultimately forced Republicans to pull the bill from the House floor — because she disagreed with a requirement in the bill that rape be reported to a law enforcement agency before an abortion is performed for rape.

Now, she’s paying the political price in the form of a pro-life challenger in her next political primary:

Rep. Renee Ellmers (R-NC) has “betrayed” her district, conservative primary challenger Frank Roche tells Breitbart News exclusively. He’s launched a bid to oust her in a primary next year.

“Renee Ellmers has betrayed the conservatives of the Second District by repeatedly voting to increase federal spending, increase the debt ceiling, and even voting to fund President Obama’s unconstitutional executive amnesty,” Roche said in an emailed statement. “Washington is broken and the people of the Second District want Bold Conservative Leadership to stand up to the big government progressives in both parties, not another go along to get along politician like Representative Ellmers.”

Roche, who nearly ousted Ellmers with hardly any resources last election cycle, launched his campaign for Congress in 2016 on with a bang. He has a new flashy website detailing why he’s the better candidate, complete with a well-produced and hard-hitting video announcing his campaign.

Shortly thereafter, on the eve of the largely influential March for Life, Ellmers led a charge in the House to undermine the Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Act that would have blocked abortions of babies in the uterus when those babies can feel pain, at around five months. The move infuriated the grassroots, and many pro-life leaders locked arms with anti-amnesty community conservatives vowing to take Ellmers out of Congress in the 2016 primary.

This time around, Roche is much more organized.

He’s got a year until the primary—plenty of time to campaign and expose the gaffe-prone Ellmers to accountability—but he’s already showing signs of an organized campaign effort proving he learned from the previous campaign’s failures.

When it comes to the 20-week abortion ban, pro-life groups are concerned Ellmers is pushing a huge rape exception that could gut the bill.

Ellmers has told Bloomberg News that she wants certain changes to the bill and, although discussion of the final language is still in progress, made it appear as if new language had been finalized.

Ellmers said the new version, as shown to her, would no longer require victims of rape to report the crime to law enforcement if they wish to have a late-term abortion under the law. She said the physician would have to know this was a pregnancy as a result of a rape.

“I’m much more comfortable with this new language.”

But officials with the National Right to Life Committee, who developed the Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Act and presented it to Congress, tell LifeNews they are concerned with what Ellmers is pushing in the press.

“National Right to Life does not believe an exception for rape should be added to this bill which deals with abortions after 20 weeks,” Carol Tobias, president of National Right to Life, told today. “However such an exception was necessary for passage last year but included the provision that the rape had to be reported to some law enforcement agency prior to the abortion.”

“If a rape exception is included in this bill which deals only with abortions after 5 months of pregnancy then the exception should not be so broad as to allow abortion from 5 months until the time of birth just based on a statement to the abortionist, written or oral. At the very least there should be some documentation indicating that the crime of rape has occurred to prevent wide open abortion on demand,” Tobias added.