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Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellChristopher Halloran /

WASHINGTON, D.C., February 13, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) – Republican leadership began the process today of initiating a vote on the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, which would ban most late-term abortions past five months of pregnancy, and the Born-Alive Infant Protection Act, which would require basic medical care for newborns born during failed abortions.

Majority Leader Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-KY, made a motion to begin debate on the bills. The first votes on both pieces of legislation will actually be on ending debate on the bills.

If 60 senators vote to end debate on the bill, the Senate will vote on the bill itself. But Senate rules make it impossible to vote on a bill unless 60 senators agree that the vote should take place. (Republicans changed these rules to allow the Senate to confirm President Donald Trump’s two Supreme Court nominees and other judges but not legislation; it’s likely that if Democrats regain control of the Senate they will simply change the rules again so as to be able to pass legislation with only a simple majority.)

Therefore pro-life groups typically score votes such as the upcoming procedural ones as votes in favor of or against late-term abortion. The Senate is in recess next week and will vote on the bills upon returning. 

One of Trump’s campaign promises was to sign the pain-capable bill into law. It passed the U.S. House in October 2017 but failed to pass the U.S. Senate in January 2018. It was then that Democrat Senators Chuck Schumer, D-NY, and Heidi Heitkamp, D-ND, high-fived after voting in favor of late-term abortions on babies who feel pain. The latter is no longer in office.

Trump has also honed in on Democrats’ seeming support for infanticide during rallies and speeches, including the recent State of the Union.

The U.S. is only one of seven nations that allows abortion through the ninth month of pregnancy. Some individual states restrict it, but there is no federal law against late-term abortion. The partial-birth abortion ban merely prohibits a certain late-term abortion method. 

Under the pain-capable bill, babies conceived in rape could still be aborted past 20 weeks, even though the bill is premised on the barbarity of late-term abortion and how it is painful to the babies who are killed that way.

The born-alive bill would require that if a baby was born during a failed abortion, a doctor would have to treat that baby the same degree of professional skill, care, and diligence as he would any other newborn.

Both chambers of Congress have been focused on abortion this week. 

The House held a hearing yesterday on a bill to allow a totally unregulated abortion industry and establish a federal statutory right to commit and obtain abortions. One of its pro-abortion witnesses was Dr. Yashica Robinson, an Alabama abortionist who was indicted in 2014 for healthcare fraud and selling misbranded IUDs. She is the medical director of a Huntsville, Alabama abortion facility that has previously been cited by the health department, for, among other things, failing to wipe off tables between abortions.

“Over the years, Alabama Women’s Center has been forced to comply with onerous, medically unnecessary building requirements,” she testified. “For example, we were forced to outfit our clinic as an ambulatory surgical center having to install 24-hour lighting.”

“Alabama is a state with unconscionably high maternal and infant mortality rates. There are many pre-existing conditions that can be made worse by pregnancy, and other serious health conditions can be caused by pregnancy,” Robinson continued. “Without access to abortion, maternal mortality rates will rise even more.” 

Today, the House voted to remove the deadline for the ratification of the so-called Equal Rights Amendment (ERA). The ERA would enshrine the “right” to abortion in the U.S. Constitution, pro-life groups warn. 

And on February 11, the Senate Judiciary Committee held a hearing on babies born alive after failed abortions.

The contenders in the 2020 Democrat presidential primary are all united in their support for late-term abortion on demand and at taxpayers’ expense. Andrew Yang, however, recently came under fire for saying abortion is a “tragedy” and shouldn’t be “celebrated.” Recently on The View, former South Bend, Indiana mayor Pete Buttigieg similarly suggested late-term abortion is a sad, difficult choice made after “devastating” news. Nevertheless, it ought to be legal, he said, while also refusing to condemn infanticide.