WASHINGTON, D.C., June 17, 2013 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Republican leadership in the House of Representatives has required a late-term abortion ban include a rape and incest exception following remarks by its chief sponsor last week that the media have misrepresented as dismissing the impact of rape.

In a bipartisan accommodation that bowed to media pressure, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor of Virginia added the exceptions to Trent Franks' “Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act” (H.R. 1797) on Friday during a discussion with Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer of Maryland.

The Republican statutory change also requires that the rape or incest of a minor be reported to appropriate authorities, something the Democratic amendment did not require.

Eric Ferrero, vice president for communication for Planned Parenthood Federation of America, lashed out at the requirement, saying it “is designed to shame and judge victims of violent crimes, requiring a woman to prove that she has reported her rape to police before she can access an abortion.”

Planned Parenthood has been accused of repeatedly failing to report incidents of statutory rape. Last week, an employee of Planned Parenthood of Albuquerque told someone claiming to be a 14-year-old pregnant by her 21-year-old boyfriend that abortion employees “probably won’t” have to report the 21-year-old rapist to law enforcement.

When the bill comes to the floor for a vote tomorrow, it will be managed, not by Franks, but by another dedicated pro-life Congressman, Rep. Marsha Blackburn, R-TN.

The leadership-decreed change follows an ongoing media frenzy over comments made by the bill's author, Rep. Trent Franks, R-AZ.

During discussions about his bill to ban late-term abortions on Wednesday, Franks explained that his bill did not require a rape exception, telling New York Democrat Jerrold Nadler, “The incidence of rape resulting in pregnancy are very low.”

He quickly clarified, explaining, “The incidences where pregnancy results from rape that results in abortion at the six month or after are very rare.” His bill does not affect early abortions.

Data from the Guttmacher Institute, which was long officially tied to Planned Parenthood, verifies his comments, reporting that less than 1.5 percent of all abortions are due to rape and incest combined. The number of abortions after six months due to rape would be even considerably less, if not non-existent.

Ironically, as Republican House leaders backed down, liberal columnists David Weigel and Jonathan Chait defended Franks, saying the media and the Left had deliberately twisted his comments. Weigel noted, Not every comment about rape and abortion is a 'Todd Akin' comment.

If the bill is passed, abortionists who perform late-term abortions may face a fine or up to five years in prison.

The bill would institute a ban on all abortions conducted after 20 weeks following fertilization, or 22-weeks as measured by the LMP scale.

The provision would affect the 300 abortion providers who will perform abortions after 20 weeks and around 140 willing to perform abortions at 24 weeks or later, according to the Guttmacher Institute.

The full House is scheduled to vote on the bill on Tuesday.

A poll conducted by The Polling Company found that the American people support the bill's criteria by 34 percentage points. When asked, 64 percent of Americans said they would support a bill protecting babies who can feel pain from being aborted, while only 30 percent opposed it.

“The American people, whether they consider themselves pro-life or pro-choice, understand that performing elective abortions on pain-capable children has no place in civilized society,” said David O’Steen, Ph.D., the executive director of National Right to Life.

National Right to Life is urging the bill's passage. However, some other pro-life voices, while acknowledging the bill is a step forward, have said they believe it leaves too many unborn children at risk.

The House Judiciary Committee passed Franks' “Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act” (H.R. 1797), by a vote of 20-12 last Wednesday, after it passed its subcommittee on the Constitution and Civil Justice on a party line vote, 6-4 the week before.

Nine states have passed a “fetal pain” ban at 20 weeks: Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Idaho, Kansas, Louisiana, Nebraska, North Dakota, and Oklahoma. A court recently enjoined Arizona's 20-week ban.