But the Senate leader warns that Congress shouldn't focus on "fringe" issues. Meanwhile, political analysts say the Republican push to limit abortions scores points with the party's conservative base, but could widen its "gender gap" in the 2014 elections.
The Washington Post: Reid Open To Vote On 20-Week Abortion Ban Senate
Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) said Sunday that he was open to allowing a vote on a House bill that would ban abortions after the 20th week of pregnancy. But he also suggested Congress shouldn't be focusing on such "fringe issues."... Reid is one of a few Democrats in the Senate who identifies as being against abortion rights (Blake, 7/14).
The Associated Press/Washington Post: Republicans Return Abortion To Front Burner For 2014 Elections, Democrats See Gain As A result
With no immediate hope of overturning the U.S. Supreme Court's decision legalizing abortion, Republicans around the country are increasingly pushing legislation to restrict the procedure, and Democrats say they'll make the GOP pay in coming elections. From statehouses to Congress, Republicans have advanced a range of ideas: banning nearly all abortions beyond the 20th week after conception; making abortion clinics follow regulations for surgical care; mandating that clinic physicians have admitting privileges at local hospitals; requiring women to get ultrasounds before terminating a pregnancy (7/15).
NBC News: Abortion Fights Risk Worsening GOP's Gender Gap
Republicans may be tirelessly working to rebrand their party since losing last year's race for the White House, but a recent slew of state initiatives to restrict access to abortion isn't doing this effort any favors – and may only widen the party's so-called "gender gap" in attracting women voters. ... Yet despite the risk of alienating female voters, the campaigns have undoubtedly energized conservatives, particularly opponents of abortion rights who compose a cornerstone of the Republican base (O'Brien, 7/14).
And Politico looks at a major anti-abortion player --
Politico: The Force Behind EMILY's List
Ask around about EMILY's List President Stephanie Schriock and two things become clear: She delivers results and isn't afraid to knock heads in the process. ... EMILY's List was a natural fit for Schriock: she said she first wanted to get involved in politics when she saw NARAL Pro-Choice America President Nancy Keenan, then the Montana Superintendent of Public Instruction, speak at her high school in Montana (Schultheis, 7/13).