20-Week Abortion Ban the “New Front in Protecting the Rights of the Unborn”

National   |   Dave Andrusko   |   Jan 19, 2014   |   12:06PM   |   Washington, DC

On Monday, the U.S. Supreme Court decided not to hear an appeal in the case of an Arizona abortion ban that was struck as unconstitutional by the 9th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals last year.

fetalpainPro-abortion advocates seized on the Court’s inaction, and the 9th Circuit’s decision regarding the Arizona law, to attack the proposed federal Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act (S.1670), which has been introduced in the U.S. Senate by Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC). The House of Representatives approved a federal version of the bill (H.R. 1797) on June 18, 2013, by a vote of 228-196.

The federal version of the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act is based on model legislation developed by National Right to Life and was first enacted in Nebraska in 2010. Since then, nine other states have enacted the law.

However, as National Right to Life Director of State Legislation Mary Spaulding Balch, J.D., explained: “It is imperative to understand that Arizona’s ‘Mother’s Health and Safety Act’ differs greatly from the NRLC model ‘Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act.’ The difference is fundamental. NRLC’s Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act protects unborn children from abortion beginning at 20 weeks fetal age, based on scientific evidence that by this stage of development the child would experience excruciating pain. Arizona’s law, as its name implies, focuses on the health and safety of the mother.”

It’s disingenuous for pro-abortion advocates to attack Sen. Graham’s bill in the Senate based on the 9th Circuit’s ruling (and the Supreme Court’s refusal to hear the appeal) of the Arizona law since the two are fundamentally different. Under Sen. Graham’s leadership, 40 senators have co-sponsored the legislation. Sen. Graham is not letting their criticism stop his forward advance to see the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act brought to the floor of the Senate for vote.

“The Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Act is the new front in protecting the rights of the unborn,” Sen. Graham said. “Should we be silent when it comes to protecting these unborn children entering the sixth month of pregnancy? Or is it incumbent on us to speak up and act on their behalf? I say we must speak up and act. Every United States Senator needs to be on the record either supporting or opposing this important legislation.”



LifeNews.com Note: Dave Andrusko is the editor of National Right to Life News and an author and editor of several books on abortion topics. This post originally appeared in his National Right to Life News Today —- an online column on pro-life issues.