20-week abortion ban based on fetal pain advances in Congress
WASHINGTON, D.C., June 4, 2013 (LifeSiteNews.com) – A House subcommittee has passed a measure that would end late-term abortions in the United States.
The House Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution and Civil Justice passed the “Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Act” (H.R. 1797) by a 6-4 party line vote.
Congressman Bob Goodlatte, R-VA, who chairs the full Judiciary Committee, said the bill underscores the fact that the child outside the womb is no different than a comparable child inside the womb.
“The recent Gosnell trial reminds us that when newborn babies are cut with scissors, they whimper and cry, and flinch from pain. And unborn babies when harmed also whimper and cry, and flinch from pain,” he said. “Delivered or not, babies are babies. And it has been shown that they can feel pain at least by 20 weeks.”
The bill's sponsor, Congressman Trent Franks, R-AZ, believes nothing will change “until we can somehow humanize the victims” of abortion.
“Things like abortion-on-demand linger in our consciousness but are never faced directly,” he said this afternoon on AFR Talk's Washington Watch program. “Of all the things that will besmirch this president's name, and there will be many, nothing will cast more shame on this administration than standing by and letting millions of children die in darkness because he refuses to see the light.”
The only difference between children who are born and children who are at an earlier stage of development, Family Research Council President Tony Perkins noted, is that the unborn feel pain more intensely, because the child's body has not yet developed pain inhibitors.
House hearings on the bill, held last month, featured graphic photos of late-term abortions and equally graphic testimony. Dr. Anthony Levatino, a former abortionist told lawmakers, “The toughest part of a D&E [Dilation and evacuation] abortion is extracting the baby’s head.”
“You know you have it right when you crush down on the clamp and see white gelatinous material coming through the cervix. That was the baby’s brains,” he said. “You can then extract the skull pieces. Many times a little face may come out and stare back at you.”
“Congratulations! You have just successfully performed a second-trimester Suction D&E abortion,” he told lawmakers.
Political observers believe horror stories like those emanating from the abortion facilities of Dr. Kermit Gosnell, “Texas Gosnell” Douglas Karpen, and others, have opened a window of opportunity for greater abortion restrictions.
National Right to Life Committee Legislative Director Douglas Johnson said, "Because of publicity surrounding the trial of Kermit Gosnell and subsequent revelations about other abortionists, many Americans are becoming aware for the first time that abortions are frequently performed late in pregnancy on babies who are capable of being born alive, and on babies who will experience great pain while being killed."
Such a measure would have significant support among voters, according to Tony Perkins. “Gallup has found that 64 percent of Americans support protecting babies in the second trimester. We call on Congress to respect the views of their constituents and pass the national Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act.”
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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, but Johnson said that state bill is “based on a very different legal justification.”
The left-wing website The Raw Story replied to today's subcommittee vote only by noting all those who voted were male, furthering the Democrats' “war on women” theme.