Now that the House has passed a pro-life bill that bans abortions from after 20-weeks of pregnancy up to the day of birth, the Senate plans to follow suit. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) and other bill sponsors and pro-life leaders came together this morning to formally introduce the Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Act in the Senate.
In the House, the vote for the Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Act broke down on mostly partisan lines with Republicans supporting the ban on late-term abortions and Democrats opposing it. The House approved the bill on a 237-189 vote.
Leaders of National Right to Life appeared with Graham this morning and they called on the Senate to approve the bill. The bill is based on model legislation developed by National Right to Life in 2010, and enacted thus far in 16 states.
“This bill would save thousands of unborn babies annually from terribly painful deaths,” said Carol Tobias, president of National Right to Life.
Tobias said Democrats who support the bill would have to answer to voters next November.
“It is now clear that the overwhelming majority of House Democrats believe that painfully dismembering babies, in the sixth month and later, is just fine – now let them try to explain that to their constituents,” she said.
And with several Democrats up for re-election in battleground states next year that applies to them too.
Jennifer Popik, J.D., legislative director for National Right to Life, added, “These are very developed babies – these babies are capable of feeling pain and are considered by the medical profession to be a second patient. This legislation has saved lives, driving out abortionists from states performing abortions on these babies. And this legislation has the power to speak to the people of this country, highlighting, that where this bill is not law, it is legal to kill these very developed unborn children”
The Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act has been among the right-to-life movement’s top congressional priorities for the 115th Congress. Like the state bills, the proposed federal law would generally extend legal protection to unborn humans beginning at 20 weeks fetal age, based on congressional findings that by that point (and even earlier) the unborn child has the capacity to experience great pain during an abortion.
Sixteen states have enacted similar laws that ban abortions after 20 weeks. These include Ohio, Texas, Nebraska, Idaho, Oklahoma, Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, Arkansas, North Dakota, South Dakota, West Virginia, Wisconsin, South Carolina, Kentucky and Kansas.
The House passed the bill previously in 2015.
The vote for the Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Act at that time broke down on mostly partisan lines with Republicans supporting the ban on late-term abortions and Democrats opposing it. The House approved the bill on a 242-184 vote with four Democrats (Reps. Cuellar, Langevin, Lipinski, and Peterson) voting for the bill and five Republicans voting against it (Reps. Dent, Dold, Hanna, Frelinghuysen) or voting present (Hice).
During the debate on the bill to ban abortions after 20 weeks, Congressman Sean Duffy gave what may be one of the most passionate defenses of the pro-life position ever seen on the floor of Congress. Duffy took on the claim often made by Democrats who support abortion saying they stand for the defenseless and voiceless.
“I’ve listened to the floor debate day after day .. about how they fight for the forgotten, they fight for the defenseless, they fight for the voiceless. And they pound their chest and stomp their feet. You don’t have anyone in our society that’s more defenseless than these little babies,” he said. “And we are not taking — I believe in conception. I know my colleagues can’t agree with me on that. Can’t we come together and say we are going to stand with little babies that feel pain, that survive outside the womb? Ones that don’t have lobbyists and money? Don’t we stand with those little babies?”
“If you stand with the defenseless, with the voiceless, you have to stand with little babies. Don’t talk to me about cruelty in our bill — when you look at little babies being dismembered, feeling excruciating pain, if we can’t stand to defend these children, what do we stand for in this institution?” he added.
The vote for the bill came on the anniversary of the conviction of late-term abortionist Kermit Gosnell, who killed babies in a live-birth abortion process.
“Two years ago today, Pennsylvania abortion doctor Kermit Gosnell was convicted of murder, conspiracy to kill and involuntary manslaughter and sentenced to life imprisonment,” Congressman Chris Smith said.
“Even though the news of Gosnell’s child slaughter was largely suppressed by the mainstream media, many of my colleagues may remember that Dr. Gosnell operated a large Philadelphia abortion clinic where women died and countless babies were dismembered or chemically destroyed often by having their spinal cords snipped—all gruesome procedures causing excruciating pain to the victim,” he added. “The Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Act is needed now more than ever because there are Gosnells all over America, dismembering and decapitating pain-capable babies for profit.”
“Fresh impetus for the bill came from a huge study of nearly 5,000 babies—preemies—published last week in the New England Journal of Medicine. The next day, a New York Times article titled: “Premature Babies May Survive at 22 Weeks if Treated” touted the Journal’s extraordinary findings of survival and hope,” Congressman Smith continued. “Thus the babies we seek to protect from harm today may survive if treated humanely, with expertise and compassion—not the cruelty of the abortion.”
2015 was the second time the House has voted for the legislation — having approved it in May 2013. The bill was then blocked by pro-abortion Democrats who controlled the U.S. Senate.
During the hearing on the last bill, 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.
Americans strongly support legislation that would ban late-term abortions and protect babies who are capable of feeling intense pain during an abortion.