Congressmen Trent Franks, R-Ariz., and Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn., have reintroduced the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, legislation that, if passed, would ban abortions after 20 weeks nationwide.
The legislation passed the House last year, but a similar bill stalled in the Senate. Since the Senate is now under the control of the GOP, Republicans anticipate that they will have enough votes for the legislation to pass both chambers.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said at the National Right to Life Convention in the fall, “In a Republican Senate, under my leadership, we would have the kind of real debate on the issues that the American people want. For six years, the president has been isolated from this growing movement. He will be forced to listen to the cause that’s brought us all here this morning.”
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This type of abortion ban is called a “fetal pain” measure. Franks said that 20-week fetuses are “innocent and defenseless children who can not only feel pain, but who can survive outside of the womb in most cases, and who are torturously killed without even basic anesthesia.”
Such abortion bans have become increasingly popular on the state level, but there remains debate about when exactly an unborn child experiences pain. Nine states cut off abortion after 20 weeks.
Pro-life organization Susan B. Anthony List’s president, Marjorie Dannenfelser, said in a statement, “As the 114th Congress is sworn in today, we are encouraged to see our pro-life allies wasting no time in the fight to protect the lives of the most vulnerable.”
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