Congressman: Late-Term Abortion Ban Would Have Stopped Kermit Gosnell

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   May 21, 2013   |   4:26PM   |   Washington, DC

The congressman who is behind a new bill that would ban abortions nationwide after 20 weeks of pregnancy says Congress should enact the ban to protect babies from excruciating pain they feel during abortions.

Congressman Trent Franks of Arizona also says his ban would have stopped the horrors at Kermit Gosnell’s abortion clinic.

Franks will hold a press conference on the Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Act tomorrow. The press conference will be in advance of a hearing to be held this Thursday by Franks, who chairs the Judiciary Committee’s Constitution and Civil Justice Subcommittee.

“The case of Kermit Gosnell shocked the sensibilities of millions of Americans,” he said. “However, the crushing fact is that abortions on babies just like the ones killed by Kermit Gosnell have been happening hundreds of times per day, every single day, for the past 40 years.”

“Indeed, let us not forget that, had Kermit Gosnell dismembered these babies before they had traveled down the birth canal only moments earlier, he would have, in many places nationwide, been performing an entirely legal procedure,” Franks told LifeNews in an email.

He added, “If America truly understands that horrifying reality, hearts and laws will change. Knowingly subjecting our innocent unborn children to dismemberment in the womb, particularly when they have developed to the point that they can feel excruciating pain every terrible moment leading up to their undeserved deaths, belies everything America was called to be. This is not who we are.”

The bill has the strong support of pro-life groups like the National Right to Life Committee and the Susan B. Anthony List. Marilyn Musgrave, Vice President for Government Affairs for the SBA List, talked more about why her groups supports the 20-week abortion ban.

“Tomorrow, Rep. Franks and other Members of Congress are holding a press conference on the Hill that I am attending announcing legislation that would ban abortions nationwide at the 20-week mark,” she said, adding that this is “truly a historic moment for the pro-life movement.”

Musgrave says Democrats are eager to push back against tying the bill to Gosnell’s late-term abortions.

She noted:  “In fact, an anonymous House Democratic leadership aide told the Hill publication Roll Call today: “ …using [Gosnell] as some sort of vehicle to change what is the law of the land is going to be greeted with fierce opposition.'”

In a nationwide poll of 1,003 registered voters in March, The Polling Company found that 64% would support a law such as the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act prohibiting abortion after 20 weeks — when an unborn baby can feel pain — unless the life of the mother was in danger. Only 30% opposed such legislation.

During the 2011-12 Congress, Mr. Franks’ bill garnered 222 co-sponsors in the 435-member House, and received the support of a majority of House members on July 31, 2012 (roll call no. 539).