In dramatic contrast to the Abortion on Demand Until Birth Act passed by the Democrat House in July, more than 80 Members of Congress led by House Pro-Life Caucus leaders Reps. Chris Smith (R-NJ), Michelle Fischbach (R-MN), Andy Harris (R-MD) and Kat Cammack (R-FL) today introduced legislation (HR 8814) to end the "excruciating suffering and physical pain of unborn babies" from abortion.
According to data published on Monday, each year approximately 55,800 unborn children are killed by abortion at 15 weeks gestation or later.
The Protecting Pain-Capable Unborn Children from Late-Term Abortions Act--which would prevent most abortions after 15 weeks gestation--updates an earlier version of legislation authored by Smith to reflect compelling evidence that unborn babies feel excruciating pain sooner than previously known. Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) is introducing an identical bill in the Senate.
"Thanks to incredible progress made in science, we now know that by at least 15 weeks unborn babies killed by abortion experience excruciating suffering and physical pain," said Smith. "Our legislation responds to the scientific advances already recognized in fetal medicine by increasing human rights protection for these children."
According to a recent Harvard poll, 72 percent of Americans--including 75 percent of women--oppose abortion after 15 weeks of pregnancy. A Marist poll from January 2022 similarly reported that 71 percent of Americans oppose abortion after the first three months of pregnancy.
"The extreme pro-abortion bill--which has passed the Democrat House twice--would legally authorize and enable the violent death of unborn baby girls and boys by dismemberment, decapitation, forced expulsion from the womb, deadly poisons, and other methods at any time and for any reason until birth," said Smith.
"The legislation would also nullify every modest pro-life restriction ever enacted by the States--including Women's Right to Know laws in 35 States, parental involvement statutes in 37 States, the pain-capable unborn child protection laws in 19 States, waiting periods in 26 States, and so much more," Smith said.
"The dismemberment abortion--the most common abortion method used during the second trimester--involves beheading, cutting and dismembering the child's fragile body including severing his or her arms and legs," said Smith. "Until rendered unconscious or dead, the baby feels every cut."
"We all dread pain, avoid it, and even fear it," said Smith. "And we all go to extraordinary lengths to mitigate its severity and its duration for ourselves. Yet every day, a whole segment of human beings is being subjected to painful--and deadly--procedures. This unconscionable human rights abuse must stop."
According to Smith, the Protecting Pain-Capable Unborn Children from Late-Term Abortions Act recognizes the medical evidence that unborn children feel pain.
As early as 2004, fetal pain expert Dr. Kanwaljeet Anand suggested that unborn babies in the second trimester of pregnancy may feel pain even more intensely than new born babies and older children. Since then, research has found that "substantial evidence" indicates that babies are mature enough by 15 weeks to feel pain.
And as recently as 2020, Dr. Stuart Derbyshire, a recognized expert on fetal pain since 1994, concurred and found that unborn babies can feel pain even earlier.
Smith noted, "As fetal surgeons seek to heal, they routinely administer anesthesia to children in the womb to protect them from pain. The unborn child is a patient, and there are many anomalies, many sicknesses that can be treated with a degree of success while she or he is still in utero. When those interventions are performed, anesthesia is given."
Smith also highlighted a TIME Magazine cover story entitled "Saving Preemies" that explored the preemie revolution and how medicine and dedicated caregivers are helping the tiniest babies to survive and thrive.
According to TIME, "thanks to advances that had not been made even a few years ago, the odds of surviving and thriving are improving all the time."
"Abortionists on the other hand are in the business of ensuring that children neither survive nor thrive," said Smith. "Unborn children, including children with disabilities, deserve treatment not excruciating deaths by dismemberment."