House Introduces Pain-Capable Unborn Child Abortion Safety Bill

On the first day of the 114th Congress, the House has introduced the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act—legislation that would restrict abortions to 20 weeks of pregnancy.

According to a press release from the pro-life Susan B. Anthony List (SBA-List), the measure was introduced by Reps. Trent Franks (R-AZ) and Marsha Blackburn (R-TN).

SBA-List President Marjorie Dannenfelser said in a statement:

As the 114th Congress is sworn in today, we are encouraged to see our pro-life allies wasting no time in the fight to protect the lives of the most vulnerable. Sixty percent of Americans support the legislation introduced today by Reps. Trent Franks and Marsha Blackburn to stop abortion on demand after five months. That’s more than halfway through pregnancy. It is time to move the United States off the list of only seven countries to allow abortion on demand beyond this point.

“We thank Congressmen Franks and Blackburn for their bold leadership. Their efforts to pass this legislation in 2013 – including a compelling debate on the House floor led by the House Pro-life Women’s caucus – spurred continued action at the state level,” Dannenfelser continued. “Thirteen states have passed similar limits on abortion in the last three years. A federal law is long overdue and this Congress now has a clear mandate from the American people.”

Though the Republican-led House passed the measure in June 2013, the U.S. Senate companion bill did not have the chance to come up for a vote until Tuesday, the first day Republicans have also led that chamber.

In a Statement of Administration Policy after the House passed the measure, President Obama said his administration “strongly opposes” such a bill and he would veto it were it to come before him, because it “would unacceptably restrict women’s health and reproductive rights and is an assault on a woman’s right to choose.”

“This bill is a direct challenge to Roe v. Wade and shows contempt for women’s health and rights, the role doctors play in their patients’ health care decisions, and the Constitution,” Obama stated.

At the end of November, Quinnipiac University published a poll that found 60 percent of Americans supported legislation restricting abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy. The finding included 76 percent of Republicans, 56 percent of Independents, and 46 percent of Democrats.


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