Continuing the bold pro-life direction of the party committee under chairman Reince Priebus, the Republican National Committee adopted a resolution Friday supporting legislation to ban abortion after 20 weeks of pregnancy.
The RNC resolution comes ahead of Tuesday’s one year anniversary of Philadelphia abortionist Kermit Gosnell’s murder conviction — which pro-life activists say prompted a series of 20-week abortion bans at the state level.
“The Republican Party is proudly pro-life and this resolution shows our support for this straightforward, simple pro-life initiative,” resolution sponsor RNC Committeewoman Ellen Barrosse of Delaware said in a statement Friday.
“Children capable of feeling intense pain, as well as their mothers, should be protected from abortion at such a very late stage of gestation,” Barrosse added.
Last June the House passed a 20-week abortion ban by a vote of 228-196.
In the Senate, 33 Republicans signed a letter urging Democratic Majority Leader Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV) to bring up a version of the legislation sponsored by Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC).
“It is time that Congress acts to bring the United States out of the fringe when it comes to late term abortions,” New Hampshire Republican Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-NH), who circulated the Dear Colleague letter, said in a statement at the time. “I urge Majority Leader Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV) to allow a vote on the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, which would bring us closer to international norms and the views of the American people.”
Also Friday, the crowd funded movie about Gosnell’s “House of Horrors” reached its $2.1 million goal on Indiegogo.
Read the RNC resolution:
Resolution on Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Laws
Whereas Republicans have championed the sanctity of human life in our party platform for nearly four decades; and
Whereas, led by the state of Nebraska in April 2010, 14 states have now enacted versions of Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection laws, almost always by overwhelming margins,
recognizing the reality of pain in the unborn and providing legal protection for the unborn at 20 weeks of gestation and beyond; and
Whereas, on June 18, 2013, the U.S. House of Representatives voted to pass the national Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act to provide legal protection for the unborn at 20 weeks of gestation and beyond in the United States; and
Whereas, as of March 18, 2014, at least 40 Republican members of the U.S. Senate have co-sponsored the companion bill to the House-passed legislation that provides legal protection at 20 weeks of gestation and beyond; and
Whereas, substantial medical evidence confirms that the unborn child is capable of experiencing pain at least by 20 weeks of gestation, if not earlier; and
Whereas, public opinion polls on abortion after 20 weeks of gestation show that Americans believe this practice should be banned–80 percent of Americans oppose abortion in the third trimester and 64 percent reject abortion after 12 weeks (Gallup, 2013) while 63 percent of women believe it should not be permitted after the point where substantial medical evidence says the unborn child can feel pain; and
Whereas, late-term abortion is emotionally and physically harmful to women, destructive of the ethical norms and reputation of the medical profession, and offensive to the canons of law, medicine, and society that require us to protect the weak from the strong, the powerless from the powerful; therefore be it
Resolved, the Republican National Committee strongly supports federal, state, and local pain-capable unborn child legislation that bans abortions at 20 weeks of gestation and beyond; and be it further
Resolved, the Republican National Committee reaffirms its core principle of the sanctity of human life in our party platform for nearly four decades, namely, that the unborn child has a fundamental individual right to life that cannot be infringed.