TIME Crime

Fifty Shades of Grey Inspired Student’s Sexual Assault, Prosecutors Say

Mohammad Hossain has been charged with criminal sexual assault after an incident over the weekend where scenes from the '50 Shades of Grey' movie were recreated—Cook County Sheriff's
Cook County Sheriff's Office Mohammad Hossain has been charged with criminal sexual assault after an incident over the weekend

Chicago freshman is accused of using restraints and sexual violence without a woman's consent

A University of Illinois-Chicago (UIC) college freshman has been accused of sexually assaulting a 19-year-old female classmate during what prosecutors said Monday was a reenactment of scenes from the movie Fifty Shades of Grey.

Mohammad Hossain, 19, and the woman went to Hossain’s dorm room on Saturday evening where Hossain is accused of using restraints and sexual violence without the woman’s consent, Assistant State’s Attorney Sarah Karr told the Chicago Tribune. After leaving the dorm room, the woman told someone about the incident and the police were called.

Upon initial questioning by university detectives, Hossain confessed to the assault and told them that he and the female were re-creating parts of the movie, which features scenes of bondage and sadomasochism. He also admitted to “doing something wrong,” the Tribune reports. He has been charged with aggravated criminal sexual assault, a felony.

Hossain is a student leader at UIC, prompting Cook County judge Adam Bourgeois Jr. to ask how a movie could “persuade him to do something like this?” Public defender Sandra Bennewitz responded, “He would say that it was consensual.”

The movie, which has so far grossed over $130 million in the U.S, has been targeted by groups working to prevent domestic abuse, who say it promotes violence against women.

Hossain’s bail was set at $500,000.

[Chicago Tribune]

Read next: This Guy Really Doesn’t Want You To Know He Saw Fifty Shades of Grey

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TIME violence against women

Someone is Finally Starting to Count ‘Femicides’

A man holds a poster depicting slain Ozgecan Aslan during a march of members of Turkey's Bar Association in Ankara, on Feb. 16, 2015 to protest against a law that strengthens the police's power.
Adem Altan—AFP/Getty Images A man holds a poster depicting slain Ozgecan Aslan during a march of members of Turkey's Bar Association in Ankara, on Feb. 16, 2015 to protest against a law that strengthens the police's power.

Domestic violence has been long documented, but one woman in the UK is starting to count all women killed by men--not just current or former partners

With the growing awareness about domestic violence and sexual assault, we rarely use the most concise word for brutality against women: femicide, the murder of a woman. Femicide is rarely tracked by government agencies, but now one woman in the U.K. is beginning to compile a list of women killed by men.

Karen Ingala Smith, chief executive of British anti-violence organization nia, has been keeping track of all women killed by men (all men–not just current or former partners). On her blog, Counting Dead Women, she’s tallied up 126 women killed by men in 2012, 144 in 2013, and 148 in 2014. Smith is just one woman counting up news reports of dead women in her spare time, but she’s the closest thing the U.K. has to an official count of women killed by men. When she was approached by global law firm Freshfields about preventing violence against women, she realized that “they were looking for records of women killed in the UK, the most comprehensive thing they could find was my blog, which isn’t great,” she says

Now, in collaboration with Women’s Aid, an anti-violence non-profit organization, and with support from Deloitte LLP, a financial consulting firm, Smith recently launched the first Femicide Census, just to track UK deaths. Smith said she’s already gotten interest from the Netherlands, Australia, South Africa and Portugal.

Femicide is gaining mass attention all around the world– most recently, in Turkey, where a young woman named Ozgecan Aslan was recently murdered and burned after she tried to fend off a rapist with pepper spray. Crowds incensed by the murder are taking to the streets and social media to demand a change in the culture of violence against women, an issue that is coming out of the shadows.

“We don’t talk about male violence against women enough, we talk about domestic violence,” Smith said. “So there’s this idea that it’s not disproportionally men killing women, it’s people killed in domestic violence. Actually, if you look at the numbers and look at the history of what’s going on, it’s a predominately one-way issue.

The phrase “femicide” isn’t new– it was made used publicly in 1976 by feminist writer Diane E. H. Russell at first International Tribunal on Crimes Against Women in Brussels, Belgium, and has been used in multiple scholarly and policy papers on violence since then. But it hasn’t quite entered our lexicon for the discussion of violence against women, especially in the U.S.

We don’t hear it as consistently in the United States because it’s more of an international term,” explains Ruth Glenn, Executive Director of the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence. “But we’re probably seeing a resurgence in the term as more attention is focused on international violence against women.”

The U.S. doesn’t track “femicide” specifically, because we tend to call these murders “homicides” or “female homicides.” And while there is a lot of research on fatal domestic violence, (64% of murdered women in 2007 were killed by a current or former partner, according to the Bureau of Justice Statistics) the data is not usually presented in the broader context of women being killed by men. One exception is the gun-control advocacy nonprofit Violence Policy Center-- they estimate that 1,706 American women were killed by men in 2012, whether in domestic disputes or not (although victims were 13 times more likely to be killed by a male they knew).

Even if the U.S. isn’t quite on board with the phrasing yet, “femicide” advocates say that the word is a useful way to think about these kinds of murders. Femicide includes any kind of domestic violence that ends in death, rape that ends in murder, honor killings, and any other murder where the victim’s gender is a factor in her death. The UN estimates that of all the women murdered in 2012, almost half were killed by partners or family members, compared to 1 in 20 men. One of the major contributing factors to femicide is many countries is the lack of punishment for offenders, which sends the message that violence against women is normal behavior. In 2013, UN Women called for urgent government actions to prevent femicide and increase punishment of killers, and pursued active projects in Guatemala, El Salvador and Nicaragua to achieve that end. But the problem persists– according to a recent report by Al Jazeera, six Mexican women are murdered every day.

So ‘femicide’ doesn’t just refer to the killing of women–it can also refer to the entire system that condones those murders or fails to prosecute those responsible. It’s a similar concept to “rape culture,” except it applies to murder.

“When we talk about genocide and those kinds of terms that are assigned to mass violence, femicide was born,” Glenn added. “I think it’s being used to not only give some political urgency to this, but to help people understand the real crimes that are being committed against women, the mass murder, assault, and harm that’s being done to women across the globe.”

Crimes like the killing of Ozgecan Aslan in Turkey last week. Police have arrested three men in connection to her death, but that may be besides the point. “We’re not just looking at the criminal justice system for the answers,” Smith says. “We need to realize it’s a much bigger societal problem and more ingrained in the core of our culture.”

TIME India

An Indian Woman Married Her Alleged Rapist in the Prison Where He Was Being Held

If not, "we would have had to put up with the embarrassment forever," said the bride's father

An Indian woman in the eastern state of Orissa married a man she accused of raping her, saying it was her “own decision to marry him.”

The woman’s father said the family had no choice but to accept the union, the BBC reported Monday, highlighting the victim-shaming that often accompanies sexual-assault cases in India. “Her whole life would have been ruined,” he said. “And we would have had to put up with the embarrassment forever.”

The wedding took place in the Jharpada jail where the accused, now released on bail, was held for a year following his arrest. The father told the BBC that the family was also considering withdrawing their complaint against the man.

“I am optimistic that we will have a smooth life,” the woman told the Times of India during the wedding ceremony late last month.

TIME Sudan

Sudanese Government Denies Mass Military Rape

A woman rides a donkey past a convoy of government troops in Tabit village in the North Darfur region of Sudan, Nov, 2014.
Abd Raouf—AP A woman rides a donkey past a convoy of government troops in Tabit village in the North Darfur region of Sudan, Nov, 2014.

A Human Rights Watch investigation released at the United Nations on Wednesday reports that Sudanese army troops raped at least 221 women and girls during a 36-hour attack on the Darfur town of Tabit that began on Oct. 30.

The report documents 27 first-hand reports of rape, 194 other credible accounts of rape and even confessions of two soldiers who had participated in the attacks that superior officers ordered them to “rape women.” Sudanese authorities then launched a cover-up, Human Rights Watch details, which included detaining and torturing Tabit residents for telling the truth about what happened.

Sudan Foreign Minister Ali Ahmed Karti categorically denied reports of a mass military rape in Tabit during an interview with TIME on Feb. 4, when he was in Washington as a guest of the National Prayer Breakfast.

TIME asked him about reports that his government’s armed forces are primarily targeting civilians and not combatants. Any claims of rape in Tabit, he claimed, are lies invented to keep people in refugee camps, where NGOs can make money. Tabit has been rebuilt, he said, with modern schools, health care and police centers.

“Nobody can expect a village like Tabit which had been a home for some hundreds of the soldiers there, they have their homes there, they have their wives there, and they are living in a camp near that place, no one will expect those soldiers will come and rape by hundreds in that village,” Karti said. “Not only the police is there, but the army is there, and it will protect you against anyone who will infringe your security.”

If NGO donors see the situation in the villages as unstable, Karti added, they will keep donating. “This is cutting throats of so many,” he said.

Media in Sudan, Karti continued, “have every right to go anywhere and talk about anything that may be causing atrocities to their homeland and people, so if nothing is coming out of that, that means that is only portraying the country in a way that will not at all help somebody like me to convince those who are in charge of a decision like removing Sudan from the list of terror.”

Sudan is one of three countries on the United States’ list of states that support terrorism, alongside Syria and Iran. Karti and the Sudanese government have been lobbying Washington to get Sudan removed from the list.

Sexual violence has historically been used as a weapon of war in the region—mass rapes were common in the Darfur massacre starting in 2003 and before that in the 1994 Rwandan genocide.

Special Prosecutor for Crimes in Darfur Yasir Ahmed Mohamed and his team talk to women during an investigation into allegations of mass rape in the village of Tabit, in North Darfur, Nov. 20, 2014.
Mohamed Nureldin Abdallah—ReutersSpecial Prosecutor for Crimes in Darfur Yasir Ahmed Mohamed and his team talk to women during an investigation into allegations of mass rape in the village of Tabit, in North Darfur, Nov. 20, 2014.

Until Wednesday’s Human Rights Watch report, international observers had not been able to adequately investigate what happened in Tabit. The African Union United Nations Mission in Darfur (UNAMID) failed to find evidence that the rapes happened at all when they were allowed to visit Tabit for a few hours on Nov. 9—government forces prevented peacekeepers from carrying out a credible investigation, Human Rights Watch and other activists explain, and days later Sudan shut the UNAMID’s human rights office in Khartoum before expelling two senior UN officials from the country altogether. The special prosecutor for crimes in Darfur, appointed by the Sudanese government, who visited Tabit on Nov. 20, also concluded that no crimes had been committed.

The details of the Human Rights Watch report are damning. Throughout the town, the report says, the pattern of the attacks was similar: armed and uniformed Sudanese military personnel went house to house, beating the men, and then raping women and girls, sometimes mothers with daughters and sisters with sisters. Survivors, including these two below, shared their stories with Human Rights Watch:

“Khadamallah, in her mid-teens, said that soldiers came to her home at about 10 p.m. on Friday night: ‘I was in the house with my younger siblings. We were sleeping when the soldiers came into our house. … They entered the house. I took firewood and hit one of them. One of them dragged me out of the room. … They raped me. … Two of them held me down while the other one raped me. Many others who were there were standing around. … And then they brought me back [to my room], tied me [to the bed], and left.'”

“Mahassan, in her twenties, said that she and three friends were raped by soldiers after sunset. They were in her home preparing perfumes for a wedding when about 10 soldiers entered the compound, dragged the women outside, and raped each of them multiple times: ‘[The soldiers] said that they were looking for a missing soldier. … They searched the compound. … [T]hen they came towards us. They grabbed me and they grabbed my friend. The other soldiers took the other girls in a different direction. They took [me and my friend outside of the compound] towards the school. They raped both of us on the street. … Three of them raped me and three of them raped my friend. … They raped us all night. That’s why I’m still sick. I cannot sit down for a long time like I could before.'”

The full Human Rights Watch report is available here.

TIME campus sexual assault

‘Princeton Mom’ Is Now an Icon—and Fellow Alumni Aren’t Happy About It

Susan Patton Princeton Mom
Peter Kramer—NBC/Getty Images Susan Patton appears on NBC News' "Today" show.

Logan Sander is a student at Princeton University, where she freelances for local and national publications. She is from Toledo, Ohio.

Members of Princeton's Class of 1978 have written a collective letter distancing themselves from fellow alum Susan Patton

Susan Patton, better known as the “Princeton Mom” for her unpopular opinions on marriage and date rape, has outraged many. But now she has been publicly challenged by a few of her own—namely 123 of her fellow Princeton alumni.

Members of Princeton’s class of 1978, who graduated a year after Patton, have written a collective letter published in Monday’s edition of the Daily Princetonian in which they criticize Patton’s ideas and her use of the Princeton name—and its colors—as a brand for those ideas.

“The wider world continues to see this woman dressed in orange and black associating her out-of-touch personal beliefs with our alma mater. We—along with many other alumni—see these views as outrageous and unworthy of being associated with Princeton,” the letter says. “We ask the Princeton administration to continue its efforts to create a campus climate where all accusations of sexual assault are treated with the seriousness they deserve, and we invite those who share our views to raise their voices to join ours.”

MORE Princeton Mom is on the Prowl, and 6 Other Things We Learned About Susan Patton

Earlier this winter, CNN televised a controversial interview with Patton in which she criticized the broad definition of rape in today’s society. “It no longer is when a woman is violated at the point of a gun or a knife,” she said in the interview.

Patton argued that instances that are now called rape are actually “learning experiences.”

“We’re now talking about or identifying as rape what really is a clumsy hookup melodrama or a fumbled attempt at a kiss or a caress,” she said.

Members of Princeton’s class of 1978 quickly shared her interview with each other, beginning with a single post on the Princeton University Class of 1978 Facebook page. Julie List, one of the five main authors of the letter, posted the interview on January 30 and within minutes other alumni began to share their outrage.

There’s something especially irritating about her co-opting of the Princeton brand,” Amelia Silver, another co-writer, said in a Facebook comment.

MORE The Mother-In-Law From Hell Was on the Today Show

By the end of the day, the idea of writing a collective letter was widely agreed upon and the process began.

The five writers feel that Patton, who labeled herself “The Princeton Mom” on the cover of her 2013 book Marry Smart, has unfairly damaged the Princeton name—one they share in common with her—but they do not intend for the letter to be a direct criticism of Patton.

“We never mention her name in the letter,” List said. “It’s not a personal attack. It’s an attack on the views that are damaging and that she’s appropriated the Princeton name.”

Many of the alumni signatories have had college-aged children, just like Patton.

“We graduated 35 years ago. Many of us have raised children—I have two children that have gone to college. We have seen these issues affect their lives,” Silver, the Facebook commenter and co-author said. “We have some perspective from our own experiences as undergraduates and then we have the added perspectives of our children’s’ experiences.”

Because of that common experience, the group set out to challenge Patton’s representation of Princeton and notions regarding sexual assault, with alumnus David Abromowitz taking a lead role.

“I think what happens in the absence of anybody challenging the notion that those views are widely held by Princeton moms, dads, aunts and uncles, [is that] the one view out there that the public sees related to Princeton comes to symbolize what people think a lot of people believe,” said Abromowitz. “We challenge that commonly held view, especially being of the same age and era out of Princeton.”

Though much of the letter deals with Patton’s alleged misrepresentation of Princeton, it also attempts to bring the issue of campus sexual assault to national attention.

MORE Kareem Abdul-Jabbar: Colleges Need to Stop Protecting Sexual Predators

“To fail to challenge such views damages decades of efforts to help women come forward after being sexually assaulted. It suggests to college women — indeed to all women — that it is really their fault that they were raped,” the alums letters says.

Ann Daniels, a co-author, said that she hopes the letter will create more discussion about college campus sexual assaults and rapes.

“This isn’t just Princeton. This is a nationwide issue, it’s a nationwide problem, it’s a nationwide conversation and we want to move the conversation forward,” Daniels said. “I think the more people that enter that conversation, the more we are going to be able to move forward to do exactly that—to treat rape seriously, to support the people who are victims of it.”

Most of all, Princeton Class of 1978 is attempting to set the record straight—this “Princeton Mom” represents no one but herself.

“We believe we speak for the great majority of Princeton moms and dads, as well as alumni who do not have children, in saying rape in general—and date rape in particular—is inexcusable,” the letter says.

Read next: Watch Beyoncé Explain the Hidden Meaning of Her Grammys Performance

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TIME Ideas hosts the world's leading voices, providing commentary and expertise on the most compelling events in news, society, and culture. We welcome outside contributions. To submit a piece, email ideas@time.com.

TIME Japan

Japanese Man Accused of Raping Dozens of Women During Fake Sleep Studies

The assaults began in September 2011 and continued over two years

A Japanese man is accused of posing as a doctor and sexually assaulting “around 100 women” who thought they were participating in a sleep study.

Hideyuki Noguchi allegedly recorded the attacks and sold them to porn sites, authorities in Japan said Tuesday, according to CNN.

He was arrested after one of the women he allegedly attacked found a video of herself online.

Police say Noguchi, 54, placed ads looking for participants for “clinical research measuring blood pressure during sleep,” the AFP reports. The ads reportedly sought women from their teens to their 40s.

Dozens of women responded. Noguchi is said to have drugged his victims after luring them to hotels and resorts across Japan. He then assaulted them while they were passed out, filming the encounters. Authorities said he allegedly sold the videos to porn sites, making around $100,000.

The assaults began in September 2011 and continued over a period of two years. Police in Chiba, a city east of Tokyo, have confirmed a total of 40 incidents involving 39 women, though authorities say Noguchi has told them the number of victims is closer to 100.

He faces charges of incapacitated rape in more than three dozen cases.

This article originally appeared on People.com.

TIME apps

Uber Rolls Out Tougher Driver Background Checks After India Rape Case

Drivers will be subject to criminal database searches

Uber introduced the tougher background checks in India on Monday that the ride-hailing app had promised after the alleged rape of a customer by one of its drivers in December.

The company said it’s partnering with First Advantage, which performs background checks, to begin screening all of its India drivers in a more in-depth fashion. The new screening process will include requiring address verification, a local criminal court search and a national criminal database search, Uber said in a blog post.

“We have a deep, long-term commitment to set the highest standard for safety across the industry,” the company said. “Our efforts to this commitment in India and around the world will be tireless and absolute.”

Uber was banned in New Delhi after a 25-year-old woman accused the driver, Shiv Kumar Yadav, of assaulting her during a ride home in December. The woman is now suing Uber in its home state of San Francisco, while the driver has been charged with rape and kidnapping in a New Delhi court.

TIME Parenting

Why It’s So Hard to Talk to Our Daughters About Campus Rape

Susanna Schrobsdorff is an Assistant Managing Editor at TIME. Previously, she was the Editorial Director for Newsweek Digital. She is the winner of a New York Press Club award for Outstanding Web Coverage and three Front Page Awards for cultural commentary and interactive journalism.

We tell our girls that they can do anything boys can. But what if that's not exactly true?

I have two teenage daughters, which means I live in a household of head-snapping contradictions. Everything you’ve heard about adolescent girls is true, and not true. They are in equal parts infuriating and beguiling, full of arrogance and certainty one minute, crumpled by insecurity the next. And just when you think you’ve accidentally raised judgmental mean girls, they do something so kind, so empathetic (like help you change their demented grandfather’s sheets without a word of complaint), that the memory of it sustains you through a whole month of snark.

One day they go into their bedrooms all gangly and tweeny and come out looking like women. This is to be expected, yet we are not prepared for the way the world looks at them in the wake of that transformation. After one daughter’s middle-school graduation, she strode down the street in her new heels and with her new curves, plowing ahead of us without looking back. It was all I could do not to follow her waving my arms yelling, “I know she doesn’t look it, but she’s only 14!”

Now she’s 17 and applying to college. I have to let her disappear around that corner on her own. This is never easy for parents, but perhaps it’s even less so these days. She’s busy imagining who she’ll be when she’s living among her peers, on a campus somewhere that is not here. Meanwhile, I’m unable to stop reading the headlines about sexual assault and bungled rape investigations at some of the best universities in the country.

In late January, I couldn’t escape the accusations that a group of football players had raped an unconscious neuroscience major at Vanderbilt University. At a trial for two of them, the lawyer for one of the accused said his client’s judgment was distorted by a campus culture in which drunken sex was prevalent.

Just the fact that this case wasn’t swept under the rug is encouraging. New federal mandates that aim to reform the way universities handle sexual-assault cases represent huge progress. And sure, the stats on how pervasive the problem is are still being debated, but the awful stories keep coming. So while I might have worried more about pregnancy, now the specter of assault looms larger. How do I talk to my college-bound daughter about that?

The irony is that while we’ve always warned our little girls about strangers, the numbers say that if our college-age daughters are assaulted, it will likely be by someone they know. And like a lot of mothers, I’ve spent years telling my girls that they can do anything a boy can, that they can rely on their smarts above all and that they should never be ashamed of their bodies. But that’s not exactly true. No, girls can’t get drunk like guys can at a party, not without compromising their safety. And yes, girls are more vulnerable, physically and in other ways. Accusations of promiscuity can still damage a woman to an extent that many men can hardly fathom. Just ask that Vanderbilt student, now a Ph.D. candidate. Her alleged assailants took humiliating photos of her during the attack.

It’s not fair, but it’s reality. I realize that I need to have some version of the talk that so many African-American parents have with their sons about being careful of what they wear and how they behave so as not to put themselves in danger. To our girls we say, be brave, take risks. But internally we want them to do whatever it takes to stay safe. We say, be proud of your beauty. Yet we fear that showing it off will make them a target.

It’s a thicket of contradictions and hypocrisy–as my daughters are quick to inform me when I dare suggest maybe they put on a jacket over that strappy top. But I can’t help offering some advice as I watch one prepare to walk out the door:

Nourish your female friendships. You want women in your life who will have your back at parties and will speak up when you’re about to do something you shouldn’t. And you’ll have their back too. Being a part of this kind of posse is a lifelong gift.

When it comes to guys, look for kindness over cool. And trust your gut. If it feels wrong, leave. Say no. Say no. Say no.

I would defend your right to wear what you want and have just-for-fun sex if you want. But as your mother, I wish you so much more. I hope you take any chance you can to know someone truly and intimately. It is the best perk of being human.

If the inequities get you down, know that you are part of a revolutionary generation that is insisting on change. Just look at the women in a new documentary debuting at Sundance called The Hunting Ground. It’s the story of student assault survivors who cleverly used Title IX (the legislation forbidding gender discrimination) to force the Department of Education to investigate sexual-assault accusations at schools across the country. They transformed their vulnerability into something powerful.

And if you need me, I’m still here.

TIME Ideas hosts the world's leading voices, providing commentary and expertise on the most compelling events in news, society, and culture. We welcome outside contributions. To submit a piece, email ideas@time.com.

TIME India

Uber to Resume Operations in New Delhi, Spokesman Says

The ride-sharing app has courted controversy around the globe

App-based informal taxi company Uber will soon resume operations in India’s capital, New Delhi, over a month after being banned following an alleged rape by one of its drivers.

A spokesman for Uber said the ride-sharing service has applied for a radio taxi license, the lack of which was cited by the city’s authorities as one of the causes for the ban, Reuters reports.

The company will also implement other measures to improve passenger safety, including more stringent driver verification, a dedicated incident response team and an in-app emergency button.

[Reuters]

TIME Congress

House GOP Pulls Anti-Abortion Bill on Roe v. Wade Anniversary

The House Republican leadership reversed course on plans to vote on an anti-abortion bill deemed too restrictive by many female lawmakers in its conference, exposing internal party divisions as activists mark the 43rd anniversary of Roe v. Wade with the March for Life.

The bill—the Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Act—would ban abortions after the 20th week of a pregnancy. Even though a similar bill was passed two years ago, Republican lawmakers raised concerns that this bill included a controversial clause requiring that a woman had to report the rape to police before she could get an abortion. The House will now hold another symbolic vote on a different, old bill that bans taxpayer funding of abortions.

“The reporting requirements I think were problematic,” said Missouri Republican Rep. Vicky Hartzler, who met with House GOP Whip Steve Scalise to air out her concerns this week. “Statistics show that a lot of women who are raped do not report it.”

Hartzler said she hoped that the bill would come back up with altered language that could garner more support. It’s unclear whether or not the current bill could have passed.

The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists has opposed similar legislative proposals based on fetal pain as “not based on sound science.” The bill would be aimed at a minority of abortions, since 92 percent are performed within the first 13 weeks, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Conservatives supported the bill in its entirety and expect the leadership to bring it back in some form. Susan B. Anthony List, the March for Life Education and Defense Fund, and Concerned Women for America Legislative Action Committee officials said they were “disappointed” that there wouldn’t be a vote and would work with the House GOP leadership “to ensure the maximum number of votes” in the future. Conservative RedState activist Erick Erickson called Republican Rep. Renee Ellmers of North Carolina, a key figure in opposing the bill’s rape reporting language, the “GOP’s Abortion Barbie.”

“There was a lot of discussion in our retreat [last week] about this and some of the new people did not want to make this the first bill they voted on because the millennials have a little bit of a different take on it,” said Republican Rep. Ted Yoho of Florida. “But you will see it come back because the American people agree with it two to one. It’s a hideous practice. It needs to stop.”

The conservatives’ confidence that the bill will be resurrected would disappoint Democrats like Oregon Rep. Peter DeFazio, who said that now there is “some grain of hope that the Republican leadership is no longer going to be totally constrained by the wishes of their right-wing friends.”

Other Democrats said the abortion issue plays directly into their “war on women” narrative.

“It’s almost as though they’re creating the strategy for us, bringing up these bills,” New York Rep. Joseph Crowley, vice chairman of the House Democratic Caucus told the Hill.

“In contrast to talking about job creation and bigger paychecks, they’re putting a bill on the floor that undermines the health of of America’s women,” said House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi in a press conference Thursday. “The bill is worse than the bill they pulled from the floor yesterday. That affected thousands of women, maybe, this affects millions of women. It not only affects their health, it affects the personal decisions of how they spend their own money on health insurance.”

Moderate Republicans such as Pennsylvania Rep. Charlie Dent agreed with Pelosi that the GOP should be talking about pocketbook issues instead.

“I would prefer that our party spend less time focusing on these very contentious social issues because that distracts us from broader economic messages where I think we have a much greater appeal to the larger public,” he said.

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