On February 3, a group of Millennials with Students for Life of America paid a second visit to the Washington, D.C., office of Congresswoman Renee Ellmers.
Ellmers calls herself pro-life but infamously torpedoed a vote on the Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Act two weeks ago, a bill that would protect babies 20 weeks and older from abortion.
I was with SFLA the first time its students visited Ellmers’ office on January 22. The student group has been particularly keen to speak with Ellmers, since one of her reasons for opposing a vote on the 20-week ban is that it might turn off young people. According to National Journal:
In a closed-door open-mic session of House Republicans, Rep. Renee Ellmers… [said] she believes the bill will cost the party support among millennials, according to several sources in the room.
“I have urged leadership to reconsider bringing it up next week.… We got into trouble last year, and I think we need to be careful again; we need to be smart about how we’re moving forward,” Ellmers said in an interview. “The first vote we take, or the second vote, or the fifth vote, shouldn’t be on an issue where we know that millennials—social issues just aren’t as important [to them].”
Had Ellmers bothered to attend the March for Life, she would have seen a throng of 500,000 pro-lifers comprised largely of Millennials. There’s also a Knights of Columbus poll, a National Journal poll specifically on a 20-week ban, and even research by the pro-abortion group NARAL – all corroborating Millennial opposition to abortion.
SFLA wanted to speak with Ellmers about her misunderstanding of Millennials and to express disappointment in her sabotage of the 20-week ban, as described here:
At her door, we were eventually greeted by a representative who directed us to a Legislative Assistant, Kristi Thompson. She instructed us out into the hallway probably because our students would have crowded the office. Our students patiently took turns sharing their concerns about the Pain Capable bill being delayed in January….
Kristi listened intently, thanking us for our comments. After about 10 minutes of discussion we began to wrap things up when the Congresswoman herself approached her office. It seemed she had just come in from outside since she was wearing her coat and carrying a coffee cup. Congresswoman Ellmers appeared happy to see us and invited us to share our concerns again with her personally. However, when we tried to videotape our conversation, Kristi insisted we not use video, only photos.
Click “like” if you are PRO-LIFE!
As I wrote in a previous blog post, Ellmers apparently thought she was walking into a student photo op and got stuck.
So Ellmers turned around and created her own self-serving photo op.
Michele Hendrickson, Capital Area Regional Coordinator for SFLA, described the scene:
The staff person caught our students off guard and was like – hey, let’s pose for a photo! We did not ask for it. The students obviously didn’t realize what she was doing, and it didn’t feel like my place to tell them whether or not to get a picture with her. I felt pressured to be in the picture, but I politely excused myself from it.
As you can see in the Facebook post above, Congresswoman Ellmers was happy to pose with some of the very Millennials she said don’t care about abortion, going so far as to exploit SFLA’s name for misleading political gain. As SFLA responded in a Facebook comment:
We weren’t there for a photo op. We wanted to ask Congresswoman Ellmers why she was using millennials as a scapegoat to note vote on the 20 week abortion ban.
The right thing for Ellmers to do is answer SFLA’s question, then see to it that the 20-week abortion ban gets a vote SOON, contacting all the people she lobbied to oppose it and tell them she was wrong.
Either that, or remove the photo, Congresswoman Ellmers.
Reprinted with permission from Jill Stanek.