Pain Capable Act

Statement

Date: May 13, 2015
Issues: Abortion

Did you know that unborn babies who are given life-saving operations while still in the womb are routinely given anesthesia? That is because a growing body of scientific evidence is showing that unborn babies who are 20 weeks and older have the capacity to feel pain. However, according to the Charlotte Lozier Institute's report, the United States is one of only 7 countries in the world--including China and North Korea--that allows elective abortions after 20 weeks, including dismembering these babies who can feel pain in the womb (although more countries permit late-term abortions under certain circumstances).

Today, I was proud to vote in favor of the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act to protect unborn babies who can feel pain. The bill passed the House with bipartisan support by a vote of 242-184.

H.R. 36 looks out for the health of both babies and their mothers by providing vital legal protections for unborn children and empowering the mother with a civil right of action if her baby does not receive the standard of medical care required under the law. Specifically, H.R. 36 establishes federal legal protection for unborn children after 20 weeks post-fertilization -- which is 5 months into pregnancy and the age at which they can feel pain -- with exceptions to save the life of the mother or in the cases of rape or incest. If the baby is born alive the bill requires that the baby receive the same level of care that any other prematurely born baby would receive, including the presence of a second physician to attend to the baby's health. The presence of a second physician is vital for both the mother and the baby by ensuring that both have the attention of an attending physician, rather than forcing a choice between patients.The bill also ensures that providers are held accountable by empowering women with a civil right of action if their babies do not receive this required care.

Life is precious and deserves to be protected. You can count on me to keep fighting for those who have no voice. I will keep you updated on the status of this bill as it moves to the Senate.


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