President Barack Obama has issued a veto threat of a bill the House of Representatives will vote on tomorrow that would ban abortions from after 20-weeks* all the way to birth.
The White House this afternoon issued a Statement of Administration Policy indicating President Obama’s advisors would recommend that he veto the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act if it were presented for his signature. The SAP containing a veto threat is standard for occasions when the president will almost certainly veto legislation pending in Congress.
The SAP on the late-term abortion ban reads:
The Administration strongly opposes H.R. 1797, which would unacceptably restrict women’s health and reproductive rights and is an assault on a woman’s right to choose. Women should be able to make their own choices about their bodies and their health care, and Government should not inject itself into decisions best made between a woman and her doctor.
Forty years ago, the Supreme Court affirmed a woman’s constitutional right to privacy, including the right to choose. This bill is a direct challenge to Roe v. Wade and shows contempt for women’s health and rights, the role doctors play in their patients’ health care decisions, and the Constitution. The Administration is continuing its efforts to reduce unintended pregnancies, expand access to contraception, support maternal and child health, and minimize the need for abortion. At the same time, the Administration is committed to the protection of women’s health and reproductive freedom and to supporting women and families in the choices they make.
If the President were presented with this legislation, his senior advisors would recommend that he veto this bill.
On Wednesday, a committee passed the bill on a 20-12 vote and the measure now heads to the full House floor where it is expected to receive a debate and vote next week. Republicans are supportive of the measure while Democrats are generally opposed to it.
A recent national poll by The Polling Company found that, after being informed that there is scientific evidence that unborn children are capable of feeling pain at least by 20 weeks, 64% would support a law banning abortion after 20 weeks, unless the mother’s life was in danger. Only 30% said they would oppose such a law.
During the hearing, former abortion practitioner Anthony Levatino told members of the committee the gruesome details of his former abortion practice and how he became pro-life following the tragic automobile accident of his child.
Another bombshell dropped during the hearing came from Dr. Maureen Condic, who is Associate Professor of Neurobiology and Adjunct Professor of Pediatrics at the University of Utah School of Medicine. She testified that the unborn child is capable of reacting to pain as early as 8-10 weeks. This is when most abortions in America take place.
The committee also saw graphic pictures of babies who were killed by Douglas Karpen, who is considered the second Kermit Gosnell.
After the subcommittee vote for the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act (H.R. 1797), Rep. Trent Franks, an Arizona Republican who is the bill sponsor, told LifeNews: “I understand the unfortunate reality that today’s markup will be surrounded by some degree of controversy. But we, as a nation, find ourselves at a point at which we don’t offer unborn children even the most basic protections — even protections we extend to animals and property.”
Franks added: “The trial of Kermit Gosnell exposed late abortions for what they really are: relocated infanticide. I pray we use this as a ‘teachable moment,’ in the words of President Obama, and can agree that, at the very least, we are better than dismembering babies who can feel every excruciating moment. I look forward to the bill’s moving on the full Judiciary Committee and to an eventual vote on this necessary, common-sense measure.”
Congressman Franks believes the national abortion ban is timely in light of the conviction of abortionist Kermit Gosnell and news reports of potentially similar gruesome late abortion practitioners around the country.
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“I know when the subject is related in any way to abortion, the doors of reason and human compassion in our minds and hearts often close, and the humanity of the unborn can no longer be seen. But I pray we can at least come together to agree that we can and should draw the line at the point that these innocent babies can feel the excruciating pain of these brutal procedures,” he said.
H.R. 1797 contains congressional findings of fact regarding the medical evidence that unborn children experience pain at least by 20 weeks “post-fertilization age,” or the start of the sixth month. The bill generally bars abortion after that point, with an exception that applies when an acute physical condition endangers the life of the mother.
* 20 weeks post-fertilization age (“fetal age”) is equivalent to “22 weeks of pregnancy” in the widely employed “LMP” dating system.