Providing for Consideration of H.R. 1947, Federal Agriculture Reform and Risk Management Act of 2013; and Providing for Consideration of H.R. 1797, Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act

Floor Speech

Date: June 18, 2013
Location: Washington, DC


Mr. BENISHEK. Madam Speaker, I would like to thank the gentlewoman from North Carolina for allowing me to be here as well.

I rise today in support of the rule for H.R. 1797, the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, and to urge my colleagues to support this important and long overdue piece of legislation.

This bill will help to protect those in our society who are least able to defend themselves--the unborn. The Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act will prohibit late-term abortions after the 20th week of a pregnancy for the simple reason that by 20 weeks of development, unborn children are able to feel and react to pain. This time period is based on extensive scientific research, and the majority of the American people are in favor of banning late-term abortions when they know that the unborn child is able to feel pain.

As a doctor, I was horrified to hear the stories of gross misconduct and negligence that came to light in the trial of the Philadelphia abortionist Kermit Gosnell. The callous disregard for innocent human life that was displayed in the Gosnell clinic extended beyond unborn children to adult patients, and I believe that there is bipartisan agreement that this was terrible. The Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act will help to prevent some of the worst abuses that were perpetrated by Kermit Gosnell and protect patients nationwide.

As the overwhelming majority of my constituents in northern Michigan believe, life inside the womb is just as precious as life outside the womb, and it must be protected.

I urge my colleagues to support this rule and the underlying legislation.