National Right to Life, the federation of state right-to-life organizations, endorsed U.S. Rep. George Holding in the 2nd Congressional District over incumbent Republican U.S. Rep. Renee Ellmers.
Holding, a Raleigh Republican, now represents the 13th District. The legislature redrew congressional district boundaries last month in response to a court ruling. Holding was drawn out the 13th District and decided to run in the 2nd.
National Right to Life complimented Holding for maintaining a “100 percent pro-life voting record” and for supporting ta bill that would ban abortions after 20 weeks.
Ellmers faced criticism from anti-abortion groups after she withdrew her support for the bill in 2015, a measure she fully supported in 2013. Ellmers was quoted as telling Republicans at a closed congressional retreat that she had urged the leadership to reconsider bringing the bill up for a vote during the week of the 42nd Roe v. Wade anniversary and March for Life. Ellmers told National Journal she thought the bill would cost support among young people.
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Republican House leadership, which doesn’t include Ellmers, decided to pull the abortion bill off the schedule, where it was expected to be voted on. Before that decision was announced, though, Ellmers reversed course and said through Facebook that she had decided to vote for it after all.
National Right to Life said in its Holding endorsement that Ellmers launched “public attacks” on the 20-week abortion ban.
“There is no member of Congress in recent memory who has done greater harm to a major piece of pro-life legislation, while claiming to be pro-life, than Renee Ellmers,” the organization said.
The bill passed the House in May with Ellmers’ vote and with language she found troubling removed. It dropped a requirement in the earlier version that rape victims could only get an exception to the ban if they had reported the crime to police.