Pro-Life Groups Respond to Vote on Abortion-Fetal Pain Legislation

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Dec 7, 2006   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Pro-Life Groups Respond to Vote on Abortion-Fetal Pain Legislation Email this article
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by Steven Ertelt Editor
December 7
, 2006

Washington, DC ( — Leading pro-life organizations are disappointed that a measure requiring abortion practitioners to give women information on the pain their baby will feel during an abortion didn’t get the two-thirds vote necessary to send the bill to the Senate.

The 250-162 vote was a strong bipartisan majority but it fell short of the two-thirds vote required for approval under the suspension calendar rules.

The Unborn Child Pain Awareness Act, H.R. 6099, would have told women considering an abortion after 20 weeks of pregnancy that the unborn child has the ability to feel severe and intense pain.

It would have provided women who want an abortion with the opportunity to give the baby anesthesia to at least alleviate the pain the baby will feel during the procedure.

"It is no small thing that 60 percent of the House endorsed requiring abortionists to inform women that late abortion may be very painful to the unborn child," National Right to Life legislative director Douglas Johnson said in a statement provided to

"The other 40 percent will have to explain why they favor anti-pain laws for animals used for research or food, but not for unborn humans," Johnson added.

Concerned Women for America said it was disappointed that Congress failed to offer further protection for unborn babies.

"Abortion not only kills a baby, it tortures them," CWA president Wendy Wright said in a statement after the House vote.

Wright said her group, like so many other pro-life organizations, backed the bill because it provides another means of persuading women to opt against having an abortion.

"We hope that women will have compassion on their child when they learn their baby will experience extreme pain and choose instead for their baby to feel the loving touch of an embrace," she said.

"Regrettably, congressmen – many who denounced the use of torture against suspected terrorists – have voted to not let women know that abortion will torture their innocent unborn babies," Wright added.

Tony Perkins, the president of the Family Research Council, said they vote showed Congress was out of step with the 77 percent of Americans who a Zogby poll shows support the legislation.

"If unborn children are routinely given anesthesia for surgery, surely mothers considering abortion should be given information that their unborn child can experience pain during an abortion," he said.

"It is unconscionable that Members chose to keep women in the dark about the pain their unborn child could experience during an abortion," Perkins concluded.

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