WASHINGTON — Republicans finally won House approval Wednesday for a late-term abortion ban after dropping rape provisions that provoked a rebellion by female GOP lawmakers, forcing party leaders into an embarrassing retreat.
As with the original bill, the new measure permits abortions for minors who were victims of incest — if the assault is reported to police or government agencies serving targets of child abuse. It allows no exemption for adult victims of incest.
The near party-line 242-184 vote was a victory for abortion opponents and a relief for top Republicans. Yet the path to passage took months of negotiations among anti-abortion groups, female lawmakers and party leaders, underscoring how tough it will be for the GOP to satisfy abortion foes while retaining support from women voters for next year’s elections.