20-Week Abortion Pain Bill Introduced in U.S. Senate

Dan Fleuette
Dan Fleuette

After enduring much controversy over the past several months, a bill that would ban abortions past the fifth month of pregnancy in the United States was introduced in the Senate Thursday.

The Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act was introduced by Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) with 45 co-sponsors.

In a press release, Graham said, “There are only seven countries that allow wholesale abortions at the 20-week period including China and North Korea. The United States should not be in that club.”

“I don’t believe abortion, five months into pregnancy, makes us a better nation,” the senator continued. “I look forward to leading this long-overdue effort and pushing for a roll call vote in the Senate…America is at her best when she’s standing up for the least among us and the sooner we pass this legislation into law, the better. We are on the right side of history.”

Sen. David Vitter (R-LA), a co-sponsor of the legislation, also said in a press release, “Every step toward ending abortions once and for all is an important step in the right direction. We can make great strides toward protecting and dignifying innocent human life by putting an end to late-term abortions – when an unborn child can feel physical pain.”

Pro-life and pro-family leaders joined Graham and other co-sponsors at a press conference.

Susan B. Anthony List president Marjorie Dannenfelser said in a press statement, “Right now in our country, a child can be killed in his or her mother’s womb for any reason, at any point, up until the moment of birth…We are a better nation than this.”

Similarly, Penny Nance, CEO and president of Concerned Women for America Legislative Action Committee, praised the introduction of the bill in the Senate.

“Abortion is the human rights issue of our time,” Nance said in a press statement. “Despite where a person comes down on the issue of life, one cannot discount that a baby can feel pain at 20 weeks or five months of pregnancy. In fact, the majority of Americans agree that abortions at 20 weeks, or when a baby feels pain, should be restricted.”

Nance quoted numerous polls, including those by The Polling Company, Quinnipiac, the National Journal, Huffington Post, NBC News/Wall Street Journal, and the Washington Post/ABC News, which have indicated a majority of Americans support restricting abortion past 20 weeks of pregnancy.

“As a country that prides itself on protecting the innocent, the languid attempt to address this disturbing reality is appalling,” she continued. “It is time that our laws reflect the principles which have upheld our government, like that of life — life for the baby that feels pain when poked or prodded in the womb and the life of the mother whose life is at risk when seeking a late-term abortion.”

The Pain-Capable bill passed in the House, by a vote of 242-184 on May 13, the second anniversary of the conviction of abortionist Kermit Gosnell, who was found guilty of murdering infants born alive during abortion procedures, and of negligence in the death of an abortion patient.

Prior to its passage in the House, the bill endured much controversy when it was abruptly pulled from the House floor in January, on the eve of the March for Life. A group of Republicans led by Rep. Renee Ellmers objected to language in the bill relating to rape and incest reporting requirements.

The bill that passed in the House requires abortionists to ensure that rape victims receive medical treatment or licensed counseling 48 hours prior to the abortion procedure.

Rep. Trent Franks (R-AZ), who introduced the bill in the House, said, “The real question that remains is will those of us privileged to live and breathe in this the land of the free and home of the brave finally come together and protect mothers and their little innocent pain-capable unborn babies from monsters like Kermit Gosnell?”


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