Wednesday, June 19, 2013

U.S. House approves Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act

The U.S. House voted 228-196 to approve the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act (H.R. 1797) on Tuesday, June 18. The bill would ban abortions past 20 weeks of fetal development, based on evidence that unborn children at that stage of growth have the capacity to feel pain.

Nine Michigan representatives voted in favor of the late-term abortion ban: Rep. Dan Benishek, Rep. Bill Huizenga, Rep. Justin Amash, Rep. Dave Camp, Rep. Fred Upton, Rep. Tim Walberg, Rep. Mike Rogers, Rep. Candice Miller and Rep. Kerry Bentivolio.

Five Michigan representatives voted against the late-term abortion ban: Rep. Daniel Kildee, Rep. Sander Levin, Rep. John Dingell, Rep. John Conyers and Rep. Gary Peters.

The bill originally only included an exception in cases where the mother’s life was endangered by continuing the pregnancy. Unfortunately, the bill language was changed to include exceptions for rape and incest. Prolife attorney Rebecca Kiessling, herself conceived in rape, pointed out that people conceived in rape feel pain just like everyone else does.

Another version of the bill applied only to the District of Columbia, but following the Kermit Gosnell trial a federal version covering the whole country was introduced.

“The case of Kermit Gosnell shocked the sensibilities of millions of Americans,” bill sponsor Rep. Trent Franks (R-AZ) said. “However, the crushing fact is that abortions on babies just like the ones killed by Kermit Gosnell have been happening hundreds of times per day, every single day, for the past 40 years.”

The bill is unlikely to receive a vote in the U.S. Senate, where a majority of senators are pro-abortion. President Obama has threatened to veto the bill, claiming concern about the pain unborn children might feel during gruesome late-term abortion procedures “shows contempt” for women’s health. President Obama has consistently shown that he doesn't accept any legislation that regulates or restricts abortion, even very late-term abortions where unborn children feel pain or protection for infants born alive following botched abortions.