Today, House Leadership has announced a vote next week on “The Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act” sponsored by Rep. Trent Franks (R-Ariz.) and Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) which would end an estimated 13,000 late abortions each year. The bill bans the killing of unborn children at 5 months or later, which is when medical science shows they can experience pain.We know that abortionists like Dr. Kermit Gosnell have been convicted of murdering born-alive babies and performing abortions of unborn children late in development. This bill will help stop these late abortions and protect thousands of unborn lives.
You may know that earlier this year, the House hit an unexpected obstacle in passing this bill due to controversy over the reporting requirement for rape and incest abortions. Since then, pro-life Members have been working hard to address these concerns while preserving the goal of the bill to protect women and children from late abortions. Indeed, the bill now requires a 48-hour waiting period for a woman seeking a late abortion under the exceptions and ensures such a woman has sought counseling and medical care. It applies the federal Born Alive Infant Protection Act, so that babies born alive are guaranteed care in a hospital. It also allows a private right of action so that a woman or parent can sue a doctor who violates this law. Had this measure been law when Dr. Gosnell was operating, there is a good chance that both the unborn children and even the women would be alive today.
The vast majority of Americans support reasonable limitations on abortion, especially for unborn children that medical evidence suggests can feel pain as early as 5 months. Dr. Kanwaljeet Anand testified:
"The human fetus possesses the ability to experience pain from 20 weeks gestation, if not earlier and the pain perceived by the fetus is possibly more intense than that perceived by term newborns or children."
Medical advances have expanded our understanding of unborn life and it’s time for the law to catch up.
The House is set to vote on “Pain Capable Unborn Child Act” (H.R. 36). Please urge your Member to vote for this life affirming legislation.