For those of us who believe in a personal Creator Who chose to make each of us, wove us together in our mothers’ wombs and brought us into the fullness of the human experience, this is a day of some ambivalence.
On the one hand, we rejoice in the goodness of life and that more and more Americans are standing for the unborn and their mothers, unswayed by the bitter and deceptive rhetoric of pro-abortion forces. We are saddened for those who so stridently insist that the unborn have no value independent of their mothers, and pray for their change of heart. And we mourn for the more than 55 million unborn lost since 1973.
Our emotions are mixed even more by actions today on Capitol Hill.
Pain-Capable Bill: This week the House of Representatives chose not to vote on a measure banning abortions after 20 weeks. Why? Largely because two Members of Congress, Renee Elmers (R-NC) and Jackie Walorski (R-IN), changed their minds on a rape-reporting provision of the bill. Last year, each of them spoke in favor of an identical bill – one with the same provision to which they now object – on the House floor. Gathering other Republicans around them, they have succeeded in delaying a vote on a measure morally, legally and politically sound. Why they did this is unclear, but now the House leadership has pulled, temporarily, the bill from floor consideration.
What would this measure do? My colleague Arina Grossu, director of FRC’s Center for Human Dignity, explains:
… the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act (H.R. 36) (would) ban abortions after 20 weeks post-fertilization, the point at which a child can feel excruciating pain … The unborn child can feel pain by 20 weeks post-fertilization at the latest: This is matter of indisputable biology. Embryology text books teach that by 18 weeks post-fertilization, when the connection between the spinal cord and the thalamus (the pain-processing center) is complete, painful stimuli cause stress hormone levels to go up such that the child can perceive severe pain. That is why it is common medical practice is to administer fetal anesthesia to unborn babies before an in-utero surgery (e.g., the type performed to correct vertebrae problems prior to the child’s birth).
The good news is that the fetal pain bill will be revisited, likely soon. There is no more courageous or tenacious champion of life in Congress than U.S. Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ), so I believe him when he says “the pain-capable legislation is only delayed … that bill, I promise you, will be back on the floor very, very shortly.”
No Taxpayer Funding of Abortion: Additionally, today the House passed Mr. Smith's "No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion and Abortion Insurance Full Disclosure Act" (H.R. 7; co-authored by U.S. Rep. Dan Lipinski, D-IL). This measure would permanently prohibit taxpayer dollars from being used to pay for abortions. Only one Republican voted against it. As House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy said earlier today, “This is about human beings. We're here today for them, to make sure every person has the most fundamental right of all—the right to life.” FRC applauds Mr. McCarthy and the House Republican leadership for working to pass a key pro-life measure on the day we remember the Roe decision.
The Victims: Unborn Children and Their Mothers – Especially African-Americans: Not only does abortion destroy more than 2,700 unborn lives (perhaps a low estimate) daily, but the abortion industry itself preys upon women, women who are vulnerable and often afraid, even desperate. And there is no community of women so preyed-upon than the African-American. As my distinguished colleague Ken Blackwell writes in today’s Washington Times:
Abortion is the greatest threat to black lives in America today. People who claim to represent the black community while also abetting the black holocaust — abortion — are hypocrites. Any “civil rights leader” who genuinely believes that “black lives matter” should be working to see that every black baby is accorded the very first civil right — the right to life.
The tide for life is clearly turning; in fact, arguably, it’s already turned. And those of us who are committed to defending the unborn and caring for their mothers, before and after the birth of their children, have only just begun to fight.
“Abortion is an evil that haunts the American people,” FRC President Tony Perkins said today. “Until every child is welcomed in life and protected in law, we must pray and work to end abortion in America.”
Amen. And thank you for giving us at FRC the privilege of standing with you, shoulder-to-shoulder, in this most noble of battles.
Family Research Council
P.S. Be sure to watch FRC’s ProLifeCon, the premier conference for the online pro-life community, featuring U.S. Sens. Lindsay Graham and James Lankford, former U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum, FRC President Tony Perkins, Urban Cure President Star Parker and a host of pro-life leaders.
FRC Latest Pro-Life Resources: Equipping You for the Battle for Life
- What Science Reveals about Fetal Pain
- Population, Abortion, and Food
- The Abortion Industry: A Study In Predation
From FRC’s Marriage and Religion Research Institute (MARRI):
- New Study: “Has Had Multiple Abortions” by Structure of Family of Origin and Father Figure
- “Fathers Who Have Ever Encouraged an Abortion by Current Religious Attendance and Structure of Family of Origin”
- “Induced Abortion and Breast Cancer”
- “Demographics of Women Who Report Having an Abortion”
- “Decrease of the U.S. Population & Effects on Society”
Other Pro-life Resources