Rep. Trent Franks Urges Straight Up-or-Down Vote on 20-Week Abortion Ban in Senate

Trent Franks

The Arizona Republican who introduced the legislation – now passed by the House – to prohibit abortions after the fifth month of pregnancy, is urging Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to call for a straight up-or-down vote on the bill in the Senate.

In an op-ed at Fox News, Rep. Trent Franks applauds House leadership for bringing the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act to the floor. The chamber passed the measure, 237 to 189, on Tuesday.

“But, the House has passed the Pain-Capable Unborn Children Protection Act before only to see it disgracefully languish in the Senate without even a debate or fair up or down vote,” Franks writes, and continues:

Senator Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has stunningly allowed Democrats to use arcane Senate rules to gridlock this incredibly reasonable pro-life bill just as they were determined to gridlock a pro-life justice like Neil Gorsuch. Mr. McConnell’s correct actions to force an up or down vote on Neil Gorsuch have demonstrated that the principled debate on this asinine 60-vote rule (that Democrats will change when they regain control) is now over. In the name of humanity and all that America stands for, Mr. McConnell must now also ensure a prompt fair up or down majority vote on the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act. To do less is to allow this insidious and unthinkable carnage to continue, and to betray the very most essential hope the Party of Lincoln represents to America – and the very most helpless among us.

The Trump administration released a Statement of Administration Policy ahead of the vote in the House that says the president will sign the 20-week abortion ban into law if passed by both the House and Senate.

“The Administration strongly supports H.R. 36, the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, and applauds the House of Representatives for continuing its efforts to secure critical pro-life protections,” the statement asserts, and continues:

H.R. 36 would generally make it unlawful for any person to perform, or attempt to perform, an abortion of an unborn child after 20 weeks post-fertilization, with limited exceptions. The bill, if enacted into law, would help to facilitate the culture of life to which our Nation aspires. Additionally, the bill would promote a science-based approach to unborn life, as recent advancements have revealed that the physical structures necessary to experience pain are developed within 20 weeks of fertilization. The United States is currently out of the mainstream in the family of nations, in which only 7 out of 198 nations allow elective abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy. America’s children deserve the stronger protections that H.R. 36 would advance.

If H.R. 36 were presented to the President in its current form, his advisors would recommend that he sign the bill into law.

In a floor speech prior to the vote, House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy spoke about the measure that is now also known as Micah’s Law, after five-year-old Micah Pickering, who was born prematurely at only 20 weeks:

The fact is, children at 20 weeks feel pain. Science increasingly shows it. The European Journal of Anesthesiology describes how it is “critical” to administer anesthesia during fetal surgery procedures. You know, a standard text on human development, Patten’s Foundations of Embryology, shows how the basics of the nervous system are formed by week four. Doctor Ronald Brusseau of Boston’s Children’s Hospital wrote that by week 18, children have developed sensory receptors for pain. Two independent studies in 2006 used brain scans and showed unborn children respond to pain.

Planned Parenthood says it is a woman’s choice to end the life of her baby at any time during pregnancy. The abortion chain and late-term abortionist Dr. Willie Parker refer to the Pain-Capable bill as “dangerous”:

“The Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Act—I like to call it Micah’s Law—is called what it is because children like Micah feel pain,” McCarthy said. “Those children are strong, just like Micah is strong. And those children should be protected.”

Jeanne Mancini, President of the March for Life, says the legislation is based on “common sense policy” that “reflects the consensus shared by eight out of ten Americans – abortion should have real legal limits.”

“This bill will not only save between 11,000-18,000 lives a year, but will serve to educate the public on the humanity of the unborn person and affirm the science of fetal pain early in development,” Mancini explained. “We now ask the Senate to also vote on this legislation so that President Trump can fulfill his promise of signing this bill into law.”


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