Pro-Lifers Lobbying Hard to Pass Ban on Late Abortions in DC

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Jul 30, 2012   |   6:31PM   |   Washington, DC

Leading pro-life groups are working overtime to convince members of the House to support a bill up for a vote tomorrow that would ban abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy in the nation’s capital.

The House is scheduled to consider H.R. 3803, the D.C. Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, on Tuesday following an afternoon debate. H.R. 3541 is scheduled for consideration under “Suspension of the Rules,”  so a two-thirds majority will be necessary for passage — a number that will be difficult to reach given the pushback from pro-abortion groups bent on keeping abortion on demand legal throughout pregnancy in the District of Columbia.

This legislation prohibits abortions on pain-capable unborn children after 20 weeks fertilization age (22 weeks LMP) in the District of Columbia, where abortion is currently legal until birth for any reason.

The most common method of abortion used in the late second trimester is the “D&E” or dismemberment abortion, which involves using a long steel tool to grasp and tear off, by brute force, the arms and legs of the unborn child.  Then the head is crushed and removed.

The Susan B. Anthony List is one of the groups working to convey this to members of Congress and the public.

“Did you know that right now, abortions are legal in the District of Columbia for any reason, through all nine months of pregnancy, until the moment of birth?” writes SBA List president Marjorie Dannenfelser. “And medical evidence shows that by 20 weeks in age, an unborn child can feel intense pain as he or she is torn apart, limb by limb, by brute manual force, during a D&E abortion – a horrific practice that is happening right now, at an abortion business not far from the White House right here in Washington, DC.”

“The responsibility rests with Congress, which has clear Constitutional authority over the District of Columbia,” she writes.

“Numerous states have already passed similar bills protecting pain-capable unborn children from late-term abortions, and pro-life presidential candidate Mitt Romney has pledged to advance and sign into law a national version of this bill should he become president,” she says. “The vote will put every Representative on the record as to whether they support abortion on-demand, for any reason, up until the moment of birth.”

“A poll conducted by National Right to Life – which has spearheaded the effort behind this bill – shows that an overwhelming majority of American women, 63 percent to 21 percent, said that abortion should not be permitted past the point at which an unborn child can feel pain. Women felt even more strongly, with 70 percent agreeing that abortion should not be permitted, and just 18 percent disagreeing,” she noted.

“Take Action: Tell your Representative to end late-term abortion in D.C. by voting YES on the D.C. Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Act (H.R. 3803),” she concluded.

Dr. Richard Land, president of the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention, also is pushing for the bill, saying, “This bill would be a major step toward protecting the unborn.”

He notes: “The basis for the bill is credible medical research demonstrating that unborn children can feel pain by 20 weeks after fertilization—if not earlier. Yet even though we have substantial science confirming the reality of unborn child pain, babies at this stage of development—and even much later—can legally be aborted in the nation’s capital. In fact, the District of Columbia has no law restricting abortion. That means an unborn baby can be aborted for any reason in the nation’s capital until the moment of birth.”



“It’s high time for lawmakers to use that authority to protect the most vulnerable among them in Washington,” Land concludes.

If you agree, please contact your representative today and urge him or her to vote YES on the District of Columbia Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act (H.R. 3803). You can reach your representative by dialing the Capitol switchboard at (202) 224-3121.