Sen. Lindsey Graham has intruded legislation to ban late-term abortions on babies after 20 weeks who feel intense pain during abortion procedures. The Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Act would ban abortions after 20 weeks and it highlights how unborn babies feel intense pain when they are killed in abortions.
The bill has been introduced before and, last time it got a Senate vote, Democrats killed it in a filibuster. The vote came after the White House indicated President Donald Trump would sign the bill into law.
Since 2010, National Right to Life and its state affiliates have led the effort to protect pain-capable unborn children, starting with enactment of model legislation in Nebraska. Sixteen states have enacted the National Right to Life model legislation, and the law is currently in effect in 15. The legislation has previously passed the U.S. House of Representatives and has garnered a majority of votes in the U.S. Senate.
National Right to Life President Carol Tobias applauded introduction of the bill.
“We are proud to stand with our pro-life ally, Sen. Graham, in encouraging the Senate to protect pain-capable unborn children. One-fourth of premature infants now survive when born at this stage – and there is strong evidence that were a child to be aborted at that stage, they would experience great pain, as they are torn limb from limb in late abortions,” Tobias told LifeNews.com.
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.”
“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’,”she said.
Tobias said the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act continues to be one of the right-to-life movement’s top congressional priorities for the 116th Congress. Like the state bills, the proposed federal law would generally extend legal protect to unborn humans beginning at 20 weeks fetal age (22 weeks of pregnancy), based on congressional findings that by that point (and even earlier) the unborn child has the capacity to experience great pain during an abortion.
Jennifer Popik, J.D., legislative director for National Right to Life, said there is little doubt babies feel excruciating pain in these abortions.
“These are very developed babies – these babies are capable of feeling pain and are considered by the medical profession to be a second patient. This legislation has saved lives, driving out abortionists from states performing abortions on these babies. And this legislation has the power to speak to the people of this country, highlighting that, where this bill is not law, it is legal to kill these very developed unborn children,” she told LifeNews.
Jeanne Mancini, President of March for Life, added, “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.”
After the vote last year, 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.”
During the House debate, Congressman Chris 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.”
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).