Yeas: 228 — One Big Step for Humanity — Nays: 196, Bill Passes: “Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act”
Summary | The House of Representatives on Tuesday passed a landmark “Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act” (H.R. 1797) by a vote of 228 to 196 along largely party lines with only six Democrats voting “Yea”. The bill, which Cong. Goodlatte and the Judiciary Committee which he chairs approved last week, would ban all abortions after the 20th week of pregnancy when unborn babies are able to experience excruciating pain. Attached below is a slightly edited report from the Family Research Council, followed by a suggestion for action at the bottom.
GOP’s Life-Saving Pain Management vs. Democrats’ Hypocrisy
It was anything but business as usual on the House floor Tuesday as the two parties bitterly fought over a bill to ban abortion after 20 weeks. Emotions were raw from the opening gavel, when Democrats objected to Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) managing the debate on a bill that they called “stupid”, “offensive”, “cowardly,” “cruel,” “blatantly unconstitutional,” “borne of ignorance,” and an “insult to the intelligence of women.”
(image credit: National Right to Life)
The Left is so fiercely protective of America’s culture of killing that it is unwilling, even for a second, to consider the excruciating pain abortion inflicts on these children. “Why are we here,” Rep. Hakeem Jeffries argued, “wasting the time and the money of the American people on a futile and extreme legislative joyride?”
“This debate is not some waste of time,” Rep. Jeff Fortenberry (R-Neb.) fired back: “This is not some exercise in extremism. The fact that we are having this debate at all demonstrates that our society is actually failing women … there are some lines that we should all agree should be drawn.” At the very least, those lines should begin at 20 weeks when scientists agree that children can feel the pain of their dismemberment.
Rep. John Fleming (R-La.), a doctor who’s delivered hundreds of babies, couldn’t help but point out the Democrats’ hypocrisy. “Our friends on the other side of the aisle, when it comes to animals they’re all about the humane treatment. … When it comes to the issue of torture or even discomfort for prisoners of war, they’re all about supporting that. But what happens… when there’s an abortion? What happens is just absolute torture.”
And some evidence would suggest that this torture starts much earlier than the five month mark. As part of her remarks, Rep. Blackburn showed slides about the milestones of pain development and explained that even at eight weeks — just two months into their development — babies begin establishing the spinal circuitry for pain.
Unfortunately, that doesn’t prick the conscience of most Democrats, including President Obama, whose administration vowed Monday to veto the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act if it ever crossed his desk. Of course, that isn’t a surprise given that when then Senator Obama was an Illinois legislator, he was the only one in favor of killing a born-alive abortion survivor. If he isn’t worried about a newborn’s pain, he certainly wouldn’t be worried about a child in the womb.
Rep. Diane Black, a nurse, cut through the Left’s nonsense about the GOP’s war on women and explained, “There are medical reasons for this [bill]. At 21 weeks or more, a woman is 91 times more likely to die from an abortion than she was in the first trimester.” Obviously, her comment was directed to the likes of Rep. Slaughter, who accused the pro-life agenda of being “driven by men in blue suits and red ties.” When human lives are on the line, should it matter which gender is trying to save them? The American people don’t think so, according to a poll showing that 63% of women believe that abortion shouldn’t be permitted after the point babies feel pain.
Rep. Virginia Foxx (R-N.C.) closed the debate saying that even the Supreme Court recognizes Congress’s right to find ways to protect life. Holding back tears, she said, “May we in humility confront this national sin.”
Cong. Goodlatte’s Statement on the Vote
“House passage of the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act is a victory for the most innocent and defenseless among us, our children. The blatant disregard for human life put on display by the recent Gosnell trial was extremely disturbing and served as a reminder that the taking of innocent life is a practice all too common in this nation.
“Today the House of Representatives took a stand against such atrocities and passed legislation that protects babies by banning late term abortions. Delivered or not, babies are babies, and it has been shown that they can feel pain at least by 20 weeks. These babies deserve protection.”
If you have not already done so, please thank Cong. Bob Goodlatte and his committee for leading the charge on this bill. You can do so by e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. In addition, if you would like to receive FRC’s daily “Washington Update” on key issues of Life, Faith, Family, and Freedom, go to frc.org to sign up.