Today, Tom Reed voted in favor of the "Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Act," which establishes legal protections for unborn children at 20 weeks of fetal development. Simply, the bill legally ends the practice of late-term abortion except in the cases of rape, incest or if the life and health of the mother are at risk.
"All life is sacred. I care about the unborn children of America," said Reed. "It's only fair that we offer protection to the unborn by putting an end to late-term abortions."
The bill was developed as new research indicates that unborn children have the capacity to feel pain by 20 weeks post-fertilization age. Pain can be measured by the physical response elicited from premature babies at that age. It is under this same justification, anesthesia is used in fetal surgeries and special care is given to reduce the pain of premature infants in Neonatal Intensive Care Units (NICU).
The legislation also includes provisions which are mindful of the needs of women. It requires adult sexual assault victims to receive mandatory medical or counseling treatment outside of the abortion industry at least 48 hours prior to an abortion procedure (rather than requiring a mandatory report with law enforcement). In the case of minors, social services and law enforcement must be notified to prevent further abuse.
Additionally, in the wake of the Kermit Gosnell tragedy in Philadelphia, the bill will offer "Born Alive Infant Protections" to ensure that babies born alive following an unsuccessful abortion procedure are given the same level of care as other premature infants.
The United States is one of only seven countries worldwide that still legally allows late-term abortions.
The bill now goes on to the Senate for additional consideration.