The House of Representatives today approved a pro-life bill that bans abortions from after 20-weeks of pregnancy up to the day of birth.
The vote for the Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Act broke down on mostly partisan lines with Republicans supporting the ban on late-term abortions and Democrats opposing it. The House approved the bill on a 237-189 vote.
Should the Senate approve the bill, President Donald Trump would sign the pro-life bill into law.
“Overwhelming majorities of Americans—some 60-64% according to pollsters—support legal protection for pain-capable unborn children,” said pro-life Congressman Chris Smith. “Today we know that unborn babies not only die but suffer excruciating pain during dismemberment abortion—a cruelty that rips arms and legs off a helpless child.”
Smith talked about the gruesome nature of late-term abortions.
A former abortionist, Dr. Anthony Levatino, testified before Congress that he had performed 1,200 abortions—over 100 late-term abortions up to 24 weeks.
Dr. Levatino described what the abortionist actually does to the helpless child. “Imagine if you can that you are a pro-choice obstetrician/gynecologist like I was.” Using a Sopher 13” clamp with rows of ridges or teeth, “grasp anything you can” inside the womb. “Once you’ve grasped something inside, squeeze on the clamp to set the jaws and pull hard—really hard. You feel something let go and out pops a fully formed leg about six inches long. Reach in again and grasp anything you can…and out pops an arm.” He noted that “a second trimester D&E abortion is a blind procedure.” He said, “Reach in again and again with that clamp and tear out the spine, intestines, heart and lungs.”
House Republican Conference Chair Cathy McMorris Rodgers also spoke in favor of the late-term abortion ban, saying abortions frequently target children, like hers, with Down Syndrome.
“This is about the values that define us as Americans. We see potential in every life – and that includes the unborn. Protecting life is also about respecting the life of the mother,” she said. “Years ago I received the tough news that my son had Down syndrome. The doctors told me it would be a long road ahead. Too often, others try to define a baby’s future before they are even born.”
She added: “Part of being an American is not letting others define us. I look at my son, Cole, and see a healthy 10-year old boy working his way through 5th grade. His life is different than what we expected, but he plays sports and is in cub scouts. I’m proud to support legislation that reflects our values and protects the sanctity of life, and I urge my colleagues to do the same.”
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Sixteen states have enacted similar laws that ban abortions after 20 weeks. These include Ohio, Texas, Nebraska, Idaho, Oklahoma, Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, Arkansas, North Dakota, South Dakota, West Virginia, Wisconsin, South Carolina, Kentucky and Kansas.
The House passed the bill previously in 2015.
The vote for the Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Act at that time broke down on mostly partisan lines with Republicans supporting the ban on late-term abortions and Democrats opposing it. The House approved the bill on a 242-184 vote with four Democrats (Reps. Cuellar, Langevin, Lipinski, and Peterson) voting for the bill and five Republicans voting against it (Reps. Dent, Dold, Hanna, Frelinghuysen) or voting present (Hice).
During the debate on the bill to ban abortions after 20 weeks, Congressman Sean Duffy gave what may be one of the most passionate defenses of the pro-life position ever seen on the floor of Congress. Duffy took on the claim often made by Democrats who support abortion saying they stand for the defenseless and voiceless.
“I’ve listened to the floor debate day after day .. about how they fight for the forgotten, they fight for the defenseless, they fight for the voiceless. And they pound their chest and stomp their feet. You don’t have anyone in our society that’s more defenseless than these little babies,” he said. “And we are not taking — I believe in conception. I know my colleagues can’t agree with me on that. Can’t we come together and say we are going to stand with little babies that feel pain, that survive outside the womb? Ones that don’t have lobbyists and money? Don’t we stand with those little babies?”
“If you stand with the defenseless, with the voiceless, you have to stand with little babies. Don’t talk to me about cruelty in our bill — when you look at little babies being dismembered, feeling excruciating pain, if we can’t stand to defend these children, what do we stand for in this institution?” he added.
The vote for the bill came on the anniversary of the conviction of late-term abortionist Kermit Gosnell, who killed babies in a live-birth abortion process.
“Two years ago today, Pennsylvania abortion doctor Kermit Gosnell was convicted of murder, conspiracy to kill and involuntary manslaughter and sentenced to life imprisonment,” Congressman Chris Smith said.
“Even though the news of Gosnell’s child slaughter was largely suppressed by the mainstream media, many of my colleagues may remember that Dr. Gosnell operated a large Philadelphia abortion clinic where women died and countless babies were dismembered or chemically destroyed often by having their spinal cords snipped—all gruesome procedures causing excruciating pain to the victim,” he added. “The Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Act is needed now more than ever because there are Gosnells all over America, dismembering and decapitating pain-capable babies for profit.”
“Fresh impetus for the bill came from a huge study of nearly 5,000 babies—preemies—published last week in the New England Journal of Medicine. The next day, a New York Times article titled: “Premature Babies May Survive at 22 Weeks if Treated” touted the Journal’s extraordinary findings of survival and hope,” Congressman Smith continued. “Thus the babies we seek to protect from harm today may survive if treated humanely, with expertise and compassion—not the cruelty of the abortion.”
2015 was the second time the House has voted for the legislation — having approved it in May 2013. The bill was then blocked by pro-abortion Democrats who controlled the U.S. Senate.
During the hearing on the last bill, former abortion practitioner Anthony Levatino told members of the committee the gruesome details of his former abortion practice and how he became pro-life following the tragic automobile accident of his child.
Another bombshell dropped during the hearing came from Dr. Maureen Condic, who is Associate Professor of Neurobiology and Adjunct Professor of Pediatrics at the University of Utah School of Medicine. She testified that the unborn child is capable of reacting to pain as early as 8-10 weeks. This is when most abortions in America take place.
Americans strongly support legislation that would ban late-term abortions and protect babies who are capable of feeling intense pain during an abortion.