Kathleen Gilbert


House Committee passes D.C. Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act

Kathleen Gilbert

WASHINGTON July 18, 2012 (LifeSiteNews.com) - The U.S. House Judiciary Committee voted 18-14 Wednesday in favor of a measure that would ban abortions in the nation’s capital past the point when an unborn child can feel pain.

The vote took place after a survey by The Polling Company, Inc./WomanTrend this week showed American adults supporting a ban on abortion after 22-weeks of pregnancy, except to save a mother’s life, by more than a 2-1 margin.

When asked, “Would you be more or less likely to vote for a Member of Congress who votes in favor of this bill?” 58 percent said more likely, while 27 percent said less likely.

In response to a separate poll question, adults favored, by a 3-to-1 margin, a policy of not permitting abortion anywhere “after the point where substantial medical evidence says that the unborn child can feel pain,” unless it is “necessary to save a mother’s life.”


The District of Columbia Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act (H.R. 3803) is sponsored by Rep. Trent Franks (R-Az.) and has 214 House cosponsors, including every Republican member of the Judiciary Committee. A Senate companion bill, S. 2103, has 30 cosponsors. Similar legislation has been enacted in seven states. The city council in D.C. has repealed its legal restrictions on abortion, making the procedure legal for any reason up until birth.

“In the District of Columbia, abortion is now legal, for any reason, until the moment of birth,” said NRLC Legislative Director Douglas Johnson. “Under the Constitution, Members of Congress, and the President, are ultimately accountable for this extreme policy. A vote against this bill amounts to a vote to ratify the current policy in the nation’s capital, which is legal abortion for any reason until the moment of birth.”

In the bill, Congress adopts findings that by at least 20 weeks after fertilization, the unborn child has the capacity to experience great pain. The bill then prohibits abortion after that point, except when an acute physical condition endangers the life of the mother.

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