WASHINGTON, D.C., June 11, 2013 (LifeSiteNews) – The U.S. House of Representatives will vote next week on a bill banning abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy.  The bill, introduced by Rep. Trent Franks, (R-AZ), is called the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, and is intended to ban abortions after the point when medical experts say developing babies can feel pain. 

When Franks introduced the bill, it applied only to the District of Columbia.  But after the murder trial of late-term abortionist Kermit Gosnell, who is serving life in prison for killing babies born alive after botched abortions, the Congressman amended the bill to apply to every state in the nation.

“The trial of Kermit Gosnell exposed late abortions for what they really are: relocated infanticide,” Franks said in a recent statement. “I pray we use this as a ‘teachable moment,’ in the words of President Obama, and can agree that, at the very least, we are better than dismembering babies who can feel every excruciating moment.”


Last month, Dr. Maureen Condic, associate professor of neurobiology and adjunct professor of pediatrics at the University of Utah School of Medicine, testified before Congress that an unborn baby is capable of reacting to pain as early as 8-10 weeks.

“The neural circuitry underlying the most basic response to pain is in place by eight weeks,” she testified. “This is the earliest point at which a fetus can feel pain in any capacity.”

Former abortionist Anthony Levatino also testified on behalf of the bill, giving an insider’s view of what really happens during a late-term abortion. 

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Said Levatino, “The head of a baby that age is about the size of a large plum and is now free floating inside the uterine cavity. You can be pretty sure you have hold of it if the Sopher clamp is spread about as far as your fingers will allow. You will 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,” Levatino explained. “You can then extract the skull pieces. Many times a little face will come out and stare back at you.”

The one-time abortionist added, “If you refuse to believe that this procedure inflicts severe pain on that unborn child, please think again.”

But Nancy Northup, CEO of the Center for Reproductive Rights decried the legislation. “This assault on the health, dignity, and rights of women was dangerous and unconstitutional when it was aimed at the women of Washington, DC, and has only become more reprehensible now that it has been amended to apply to all women across the U.S.,” said Northrup. 

Northrup said blocking access to abortion at any stage of pregnancy violates the constitution.  “It is every woman’s constitutional right to make her own medical decisions without interference from politicians who presume to know better,” said Northrup. “It is astonishing that the subcommittee on the constitution would support such a clear affront to the US constitution – especially when everywhere similar laws have been challenged in the courts, they have been immediately blocked.”

Last month, a similar ban on abortions after 20 weeks in Arizona was struck down by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. In March, a district judge blocked a similar bill in Idaho.