Senate Democrats have blocked an amendment that would ban abortions on babies older than 20 weeks.
During consideration of the multi-trillion spending package, pro-life Louisiana Senator John Kennedy filed an amendment to ban late-term abortions, but Democrats steadfastly support killing babies in abortions up to birth and they rejected it on a mostly party-line vote.
Kennedy offered an amendment to the Senate budget resolution that would penalize abortion businesses that kill unborn babies with a gestational age of 20 weeks or more. Senate Democrats blocked Kennedy’s amendment 51-48, with all Democrats voting no except for Joe Manchin of West Virginia and all Republicans voting yes except for Lisa Murkowski of Alaska and Susan Collins of Maine.
Bob Casey, who calls himself a pro-life Democrat, voted against the pro-life amendment.
“Babies can start feeling pain at 20 weeks in the womb. These unborn children can suffer horrifically as they struggle for their lives during an abortion. I’m incredibly sad that Senate Democrats rejected the chance to protect innocent babies from such cruelty,” said Kennedy.
Kennedy said children in the womb can feel pain 20 weeks after fertilization and, in some cases, fetal surgeons performing medical procedures in the womb have had to sedate unborn children with anesthesia to relieve their stress and prevent them from moving in reaction to pain.
The pro-life bill is sorely needed as a recent survey of abortion centers nationwide finds 143 that kill babies in late-term abortions, some of them ending the lives of little unborn children up to birth.
And most of those abortion businesses do abortions on healthy babies.
Abortion lobbyists admit that most late-term abortions are done on healthy mothers carrying healthy babies. Guttmacher Institute statistics confirm that “most women seeking later terminations are not doing so for reasons of fetal anomaly or life endangerment.” Instead, data suggest that “most women seeking later abortion fit at least one of five profiles: They were raising children alone, were depressed or using illicit substances, were in conflict with a male partner or experiencing domestic violence, had trouble deciding and then had access problems, or were young and nulliparous.”
And late-term abortionist Martin Haskell, who is credited with popularizing the partial-birth abortion procedure, said in a 1993 interview with American Medical News: “I’ll be quite frank: most of my abortions are elective in that 20-24 week range…. In my particular case, probably 20% are for genetic reasons. And the other 80% are purely elective.”
Last year, New York Magazine featured the story of an Oregon woman who aborted her unborn baby at 28 weeks of pregnancy even though they both were healthy.
Such a ban has strong support from a majority of Americans.
“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 last year on the bill, 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.
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.
HOW DID YOUR SENATORS VOTE?
Cortez Masto (D-NV)
Van Hollen (D-MD)