Pro-Life Group Urges Congress to Back Abortion-Fetal Pain Legislation

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Nov 28, 2006   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Pro-Life Group Urges Congress to Back Abortion-Fetal Pain Legislation Email this article
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by Steven Ertelt Editor
November 28
, 2006

Washington, DC ( — A leading pro-life organization is urging members of the House of Representatives to approve a bill that would inform women that their baby will feel intense pain as a result of an abortion. The National Right to Life Committee says the pain babies feel during abortions would be illegal if animals were put in such pain.

The house is expected to hold a first-ever vote on the Unborn Child Pain Awareness Act next week. It tells women considering an abortion after 20 weeks of pregnancy that the baby will feel pain.

The measure also requires abortion practitioners to offer the mother a chance to give the baby anesthesia beforehand.

"In the United States unborn children are subjected to trauma through abortion that causes them excruciating pain, which would be illegal if inflicted on animals in commerce or research," NRLC legislative director Douglas Johnson wrote to members of Congress.

He said the measure contains extensive findings including scientific evidence that unborn children would experience great pain during abortions by 20 weeks.

"The findings cite a number of existing federal laws that seek to diminish the suffering of animals, such as restrictions on how livestock are slaughtered and restrictions on the use of animals in medical research," Johnson added.

Johnson said the measure applies to all abortions done after 20 weeks of pregnancy, regardless of the method used.

On the anesthesia requirement, he said mothers would be allowed to sign a form saying whether they wanted anesthesia for their baby.

The measure, H.R. 6099, is a reworked version of an older measure and the newer one does not require that the abortion practitioner read a script to the woman considering an abortion. Instead, the Department of Health and Human Services would prepare a brochure about fetal pain abortion center would be obligated to give her.

Women are not given the information are provided with civil remedies under the bill to file a lawsuit against the abortion practitioner.

Johnson pointed to a Zogby poll conducted in April 2004 showing that Americans strongly support this kind of legislation.

The survey found the public supported "laws requiring that women who are 20 weeks or more along in their pregnancy be given information about fetal pain before having an abortion" by a 77-16 percent margin.

The House will consider the bill under the "Suspension Calendar" which means the legislation needs a two-thirds vote in order to pass.

Whether the bill receives the necessary two-thirds vote, consideration of the measure provides pro-life lawmakers the first real chance to start a national discussion of the pain babies feel during abortions.

Other pro-life organizations have endorsed the bill including the Family Research Council, Christian Medical Association, Southern Baptist Convention (Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission), Concerned Women for America, among others.

ACTION: Contact your member of Congress and urge strong support for the Unborn Child Pain Awareness Act. You can call any member at 1-202-224-3121 or go to to look up your representative.