House to Vote on Pain Capable 20-Week Abortion Ban

Mexico City Policy
AP/Eric Gay

House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) joined Reps. Diane Black (R-TN), Trent Franks (R-AZ), Vicki Hartzler (R-MO), and Chris Smith (R-NJ) to announce a vote on the Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Act (H.R. 36), a measure that would ban abortion past the fifth month of pregnancy.

The Republican leaders announced Tuesday the vote will take place on October 3. The legislation was initially introduced in 2015, and is based on the science that has uncovered how unborn babies are able to feel pain inside the womb, some as early as 18 weeks.

“It is difficult to imagine what could be more important than establishing who is protected under the law and who is not – who is given a chance at life, and who is denied it,” Black said in a statement, adding:

More and more, we can celebrate the ability we have to save the life of a baby at just 20 weeks after conception – that is truly remarkable. As a nurse, I know this first hand.

Science tells us that after 20 weeks of pregnancy, babies are able to feel pain inside the womb. It is unconscionable that this is a debate we are having here in the United States in 2017.

The Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Act is a compassionate, commonsense measure. It protects those who cannot protect themselves when handed a death sentence.

The March for Life welcomed the announcement of the upcoming vote.

“If enacted, this common sense policy would limit abortion to 20 weeks and finally join the consensus shared by eight out of ten Americans – abortion should have real legal limits,” said Jeanne Mancini, President of March for Life. “This bill would not only save 20,000 lives every year, but would educate the public on the humanity of the unborn person and affirm the science of fetal pain early in development.”

As a candidate for the presidency, President Donald Trump outlined four policy commitments in a letter to pro-life leaders:

  • Nominating pro-life justices to the U.S. Supreme Court
  • Signing into law the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, which would end painful late-term abortions nationwide
  • Defunding Planned Parenthood as long as they continue to perform abortions and reallocating their funding to community health centers that provide comprehensive health care for women
  • Making the Hyde Amendment permanent law to protect taxpayers from having to pay for abortions

“It is far past time to remove the United States from the list of countries allowing late-term abortions,” Black said. “We must pass the Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Act to right this terrible wrong and give these unborn children a chance to see the light of day.”

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