Senate Democrats today blocked a vote on a pro-life Senate bill to ban late-term abortions — a bill that would save as many as 18,000 unborn babies form abortions each and every year.
The Senate voted today on whether to stop the Democrats’ filibuster of the Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, legislation that would ban abortions after 20 weeks — as neither Congress nor state legislatures can vote to ban all abortions under Roe v. Wade. The bill highlights how unborn babies feel intense pain when they are killed in abortions. Fifty-one senators (forty-eight Republicans and three Democrats) voted to take the bill up for debate, but 60 votes were required. (See vote tally at end of article).
Unfortunately, because Republicans don’t have 60 votes in the chamber to overcome the filibuster, Democrats successfully stopped the bill. The vote came after the White House indicated President Donald Trump would sign the bill into law.
Leading pro-life advocates blasted Democrats for preventing passage of the late-term abortion ban.
“Americans should be outraged that pro-abortion Senate Democrats refuse to protect unborn babies who can feel pain. An overwhelming majority of Americans support this bill, including 56% of Democrats and 56% of those who identify as ‘pro-choice’,” said Carol Tobias, president of National Right to Life.
Tobias told LifeNews, “We applaud Senate Majority Leader McConnell and chief sponsor Sen. Lindsey Graham for their steadfast commitment to passing these protections for pain-capable unborn children. We will keep coming back to the Senate, again and again, until it passes this bill.”
Jeanne Mancini, President of March for Life, said, ““While we are grateful that this was brought to a vote, it is disappointing that the U.S. Senate could not pass the Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Act today, a bill that President Donald Trump specifically called upon Congress to bring to his desk at the 45th annual March for Life.
“This bill would have limited most late term abortions to protect approximately 12,000 unborn children every year. For over a decade, polling has shown that the large majority of Americans – including those who identify as pro-choice – would limit abortion to, at most, the first three months of pregnancy. It is a disgrace that our Senate has once again failed to pass a bill that reflects the hearts and minds of the national pro-life consensus,” she added.
Kristan Hawkins, President, Students for Life of America, called for a change to the filibuster rules.
“Pro-life Americans would finally have a groundbreaking victory for life in the U.S. Senate if the vote passed with majority rules as it should. It’s time for a rule change. Instead, extremists in the Senate can block the desires of more than three out of four Americans who support real limits on the deadly abortion procedure,” she told LifeNews.
She said, “For those Senators who voted against the bill, Millennials will be asking how they can embrace such an inhumane procedure for infants who soon can survive outside the womb, and the Pro-life generation will hold them accountable.”
President Trump condemned late-term abortions and supported the bill during his March for Life address.
Noting the 45th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, Trump lamented that the United States is one of only seven countries in the world that allows elective abortions after 20 weeks.
“As you all know, Roe vs. Wade has resulted in some of the most permissive abortion laws anywhere in the world,” Trump told the crowd.
“For example, in the United States, it’s one of only seven countries to allow elective late-term abortions, along with China, North Korea, and others,” the president said. “Right now in a number of states, the laws allow a baby to be born from his or her mother’s womb in the ninth month. It is wrong. It has to change.”
“I strongly supported the House of Representatives Pain-Capable bill, which would end painful, late-term abortions nationwide,” Trump said. “I call upon the Senate to pass this important law and send it to my desk for signing.”
The House has already approved the legislation but Democrats are using a filibuster of the bill in the Senate, requiring it to get 60 votes to move forward, to stop the bill. In the House, 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.
“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.”
During the House debate, 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.”
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 measure in 2015 as well and that marked 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.
Currently, 16 states have pain-capable unborn child protection laws in effect, Kentucky being the most recent. Other states are considering similar bills.
Together, these laws potentially are saving thousands of babies from painful, late-term abortions. There were at least 5,770 late-term abortions at or after 21 weeks of pregnancy in 2013 in the U.S., according to the Centers for Disease Control. Another approximate 8,150 abortions took place between 18 weeks and 20 weeks, the CDC reports.
Though abortion advocates deny the science of fetal pain at 20 weeks, researchers have fully established fetal pain at 20 weeks or earlier. Dr. Steven Zielinski, an internal medicine physician from Oregon, is one of the leading researchers into it. He first published reports in the 1980s to validate research showing evidence for unborn pain.
At 20 weeks, the unborn child has all the parts in place – the pain receptors, spinal cord, nerve tracts, and thalamus – needed for transmitting and feeling pain. The unborn child responds to touch as early as week 6; and by week 18, pain receptors have appeared throughout the child’s body.
Dr. Colleen A. Malloy, a professor of neonatology at Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine, told a U.S. Senate committee last year that “anesthesiologists, and surgeons use pain medication” for unborn babies at the 20 week stage when performing surgery, “because it’s supported by the literature completely.”
“I could never imagine subjecting my tiny patients to a horrific procedure such as those that involve limb detachment or cardiac injection,” Malloy added.
This bill is based on model legislation developed by National Right to Life in 2010, and is in effect in Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, West Virginia, and Wisconsin.
The Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act is sponsored by Senator Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), along with 46 cosponsors, and has been one of the right-to-life movement’s top legislative priorities. The operative language is identical to H.R. 36, approved by the House of Representatives on October 3, 2017. This legislation extends general protection to unborn children who are at least 20 weeks beyond fertilization (which is equivalent to 22 weeks of pregnancy—about the start of the sixth month).
HOW DID YOUR SENATORS VOTE?
Cortez Masto (D-NV)
Van Hollen (D-MD)