The US Senate will vote Monday on legislation that would ban abortion after 20 weeks, when the unborn child has been proved to be able to feel pain. Those from the pro-life commmunity have pressed the US to make leave the group of seven countries that allow the practice – including China and North Korea.
Senator Joni Ernst, a Republican from Iowa, is one of the politicians spearheading the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, which many pro-life activists have labeled Micah’s law. Micah was a 5-year-old boy from Newton, Iowa who in 2012 was born at 22 weeks.
“When Micah was born, he was only about the size of a bag of M&Ms,” Ernst recounted in a Thursday conference call with reporters, “and yet Micah was still a perfectly formed baby with 10 fingers and 10 toes.”
“Yet there is no federal law protecting these vulnerable babies from abortion,” she continued, and “as a result, every year in our country, the lives of thousands of such babies end painfully in abortion.”
— Susan B Anthony List (@SBAList) January 29, 2018
Activists estimate that at least 10,000 babies per year will be saved if the bill is passed. “In 2018, do we still want to be one of seven nations that allow abortion on demand at 20 weeks?” asked Senator Lindsey Graham during the press call. “It’s a time in the pregnancy when young parents are encouraged to sing to the unborn child because you can recognize the parent’s voice. It’s a time when babies can be saved.”
The Pain-Capable Act passed through the House of Representatives last October. At his recent appearance at the March for Life, President Trump urged the Senate to pass the bill and get it to his desk for signing as soon as possible.
“I strongly supported the House of Representative’s Pain-Capable bill, which would end painful, late-term abortions nationwide,” Trump told the massive. “And I call upon the Senate to pass this important law and send it to my desk for signing.”
The bill contains exceptions for rape, incest and when the life of the mother is at risk. Dana Singiser, vice president of public policy and government relations for the Planned Parenthood Federation of America, called the bill “unnecessary” and full of “inflammatory language intentionally designed to politicize the provision of health care,” as reported by The Washington Times.
— Lindsey Graham (@LindseyGrahamSC) January 26, 2018
“The political agenda here is clear: to take away access to safe, legal abortion,” Ms. Singiser continued in her statement. “Time and time again, the American people have rejected these blatantly political attacks on women’s health care. Instead of attacking women’s health, Congress needs to listen to the American people and invest in women and families.”
Marjorie Dannenfelser of the pro-life Susan B. Anthony List joined the two senators in voicing her staunch support for the new piece of legislation and issued a stern call for senators to get behind it.
“In Ohio, 67 percent support (the bill); 56 percent less likely to support the senator if he doesn’t vote for this bill. Wisconsin, 64 percent support (the bill), 57 percent less likely to support the senator who allows late-term abortion,” Dannenfelser stated, as reported by CBN.
Public opinion polls have found strong support for 20-week abortion bans in the past, even among Democrats. A Quinnipiac University poll from 2014 found that 46 percent of Democrats supported the pain-capable legislation, compared to 47 percent who opposed it. Overall, some 60 percent of Americans said they approved of the legislation.
An additional ABC News poll from 2013 found 51 percent of Democrats were in favor of banning abortions after 20 weeks when presented with the choice between 20-week and 24-week restrictions on the practice. Sixteen states currently ban abortion after 20 weeks.
Right now, the United States is just one of seven countries in the world that allow elective abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy. On Monday, the Senate has the chance to change that by passing the Pain Capable Unborn Child Act. https://t.co/UhRUjypw92
— Mike Lee (@SenMikeLee) January 25, 2018
Despite the hopeful outlook from the pro-life community regarding the Pain-Capable Bill’s passage through the Senate, it is a tall ask. Indeed, it would require nine defecting Democrats for the Bill to pass successfully.