Ben Johnson

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US Senator calls for vote on 20 week abortion ban as South Carolina House passes fetal pain bill

Ben Johnson

March 19, 2014 (LifeSiteNews.com) – South Carolina's House passed its fetal pain bill 84-29 today. It must pass another procedural vote before heading to the state Senate.

Susan B. Anthony List President Marjorie Dannenfelser said today's vote showed the pro-life movement's momentum nationwide.

“The majority of Americans support this swift moving, popular movement to protect children from abortion more than halfway through pregnancy,” she said. “We thank the legislation’s House sponsor, Rep. Wendy Nanney, whose efforts reflect the reality that women support this measure in even higher numbers than men.”

Others said South Carolina's action should ripple through the halls of the U.S. Capitol.

On the one year anniversary of the Kermit Gosnell trial, abortions past 20 weeks should be ended, according to Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-KY.

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The grisly, sordid details of the trial led to a public demand that “health and safety standards at these clinics are actually enforced, and it led to the humane effort to ensure that late-term babies who have developed to the point that they are capable of feeling pain are protected from rogue doctors and lax regulators alike.”

The federal “Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Act,” introduced by Congressman Trent Franks, passed the U.S. House by a margin of 228-196 last summer. It was introduced in the Senate in the fall but has yet to see any legislative action.

McConnell noted that “a clear majority of women nationwide [are] in support of this common-sense legislation.” Polls show women and young people are more likely to support a restriction on abortions than men or their elders, respectively.

McConnell – like the senator who introduced the bill in the Senate, Lindsey Graham of South Carolina – faces a challenge from a more conservative challenger in the Republican primaries.

Not everyone in the Palmetto State greeted the news of the passage with enthusiasm. Kevin Baird, a Charleston pastor, said that no abortion facility in the state performs abortions after 20 weeks. "This addresses what - maybe zero to some anomaly? Then we feel like we have a victory?” he told local media.

Statistics show 25 abortions were performed after 20 weeks.

A congressional report showed that 11,000 late-term abortions take place in the United States each year.

The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimates a national 20-week abortion ban such as the “Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Act” will save 2,750 babies a year, a number it admits is “very uncertain.”

However, the Susan B. Anthony List places the number as high as 18,000 a year.

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