Rep. Trent Franks, R-Ariz. watches a House Judiciary Committee hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, June 18, 2013, to discuss the Strengthen and
Rep. Trent Franks, R-Ariz. watches a House Judiciary Committee hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, June 18, 2013, to discuss the Strengthen and Fortify Enforcement Act. Republicans in the House of Representatives on Tuesday make their most concerted effort of the year to change U.S. abortion law with legislation that would ban almost all abortions after a fetus reaches the age of 20 weeks. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster) (Carolyn Kaster)

The pandering of the GOP in the House of Representatives persists unabated. The majority vote Tuesday to outlaw abortion at 20 weeks' gestation is clearly unconstitutional, will never pass the Senate and would be vetoed if it got to the president's desk. But it warmed the hearts of the Republicans' religious base.

If GOP lawmakers want to reduce the number of abortions, there are lots of options.

They could increase spending on roads and bridges to create jobs, so that pregnant women could see a way to support a child. They could raise the federal minimum wage to help women living in poverty. They could end sequester cuts to housing subsidies for working parents. They could pass universal preschool and keep college student loan rates low, so poor women at least would know that their kids could get a good education. And on and on.

There is plenty Congress can do to reduce abortion. But passing symbolic measures to criminalize it while blocking and cutting programs that might help moms and help children outside the womb — that doesn't sound "pro-life" to us.



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