WASHINGTON, D.C. - The GOP is putting abortion front and center of its agenda. On Wednesday, the Republican-led House passed multiple pro-life bills in some of the first votes taken by the new Congress.
One of the bills requires healthcare workers to provide life-saving care to babies who survive an abortion. Failing to provide such care could result in fines or up to five years in prison.
Alliance Defending Freedom Senior Counsel Denise Burke applauded the bill saying, "Every human life is valuable, and every baby deserves to be protected. By passing the Born Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act, the U.S. House has affirmed the basic human rights of vulnerable children, whether born or unborn, through the provision of critical legal protection for babies who survive abortions."
The House also approved a measure condemning "recent attacks on pro-life facilities, groups and churches."
At least 78 Crisis Pregnancy Center attacks have happened since the leak of the Supreme Court's Roe v Wade decision according to pro-life tracking groups.
The Department of Justice has been criticized for failing to make arrests in most of those cases.
Rep. Mike Johnson (R-LA) told CBN a response from Congress is long overdue.
"You had all these pro-abortion groups that engaged in violence and intimidation openly and in front of the cameras and the American people. They torched and vandalized and destroyed property of pro-life organizations, churches, groups, and pro-life centers. It's just unconscionable and to date, there's been no administration of justice in those systems, so Congress needs to condemn it," he said before the vote.
Although his resolution doesn't carry penalties, it could lead to more action from law enforcement.
The votes come as both sides are still deeply divided on the government's role following the Supreme Court decision overturning Roe v. Wade.
"Let me be clear, I condemn violence in all of its forms. Here's a fact: at clinics that provide abortion services, attacks are on the rise. Increasing 128% in just one year. The resolution before us today falls short of condemning violence," said Rep. Betty McCollum (D-MN).
Republicans in the House promised to make pro-life measures a priority before November's midterms.
"We should do all in our power to stand for life and to ensure that the unborn get to live out each of the days that God ordained for them before one ever came to be," said Michigan Republican Rep. Jack Bergman on the House floor.
Both bills will have at least an uphill battle in a Democrat-controlled Senate. But the GOP sees some of the votes as an opportunity to play the long game.
"I think we have some work to do, but I think for example the condemnation of the violence against pro-life centers, that should pass the Senate, who can go on record and say they think that's ok? We'll present to them some challenging things if they're going to vote against it. I think the voters will take that into account in the next cycle in 2024," said Rep. Johnson.
Three Democrats voted for Rep. Johnson's resolution.
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