Pro-Abortion Groups Split on Opposing Congressional Fetal Pain Bill

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Dec 4, 2006   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Pro-Abortion Groups Split on Opposing Congressional Fetal Pain Bill Email this article
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by Steven Ertelt Editor
December 4
, 2006

Washington, DC ( — Abortion advocates are normally united in their efforts to stop women from knowing the truth about abortion’s risks and alternatives. It comes as a surprise to some that the leading pro-abortion groups aren’t united against a Congressional bill that would tell women of the pain their babies would feel during an abortion.

When Congress considers pro-life bills, Planned Parenthood and NARAL are normally the leading lobbying groups against any legislation that would reduce abortions. Yet the two groups are sitting out when the House votes Wednesday on the fetal pain measure.

NARAL said in a statement that it doesn’t plan on opposing the Unborn Child Pain Awareness Act because "women deserve access to all the information relevant to their reproductive health decisions."

That’s consistent with a statement on the bill in 2005 when pro-life lawmakers first introduced it.

NARAL "does not intend to oppose this legislation," the group said then adding that information "related to fetal anesthesia options" was something "some women" would want.

Meanwhile, Planned Parenthood is apparently not taking a position on the measure either. The abortion business hasn’t mentioned the legislation on its web site or in emails to its supporters and did not return a call for a statement on the bill from

While the top pro-abortion groups are taking a pass on the bill, lesser-known organizations are strongly opposing it.

The National Abortion Federation, a trade group for abortion businesses, is urging strong opposition to the measure saying it "inappropriately interferes" with the work of abortion practitioners.

The group calls the information on fetal pain that women would receive under the bill "inflammatory rhetoric that projects a level of certainty that far exceeds the scientific research" even though leading experts confirm babies can feel pain as early as 20 weeks into pregnancy.

Frances Kissling, president of Catholics for Free Choice, another pro-abortion group, also opposes the legislation.

Kissling claimed the bill is "biased" and provides women with "biased" information on abortion.

"This legislation is designed to send an emotional message to discourage women from having abortions and to make them feel guilty," Kissling told Hearts Newspapers in an interview. "That is maybe the function of a mommy or daddy, but it’s not the function of government."

The lack of unity on the pro-abortion side is a great benefit to pro-life lawmakers, who will need to obtain a two-thirds vote on the bill in order to get it approved. Should the House vote for it, the Senate may follow suit.