Photo credit: Martin Jacobsen (CC-By-SA 3.0)
Photo credit: Martin Jacobsen (CC-By-SA 3.0)
Photo credit: Martin Jacobsen (CC-By-SA 3.0)

(Washington, DC) This afternoon the U.S. House of Representatives passed H.R. 36, the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, by a vote of 242 to 184.  National pro-life leaders hailed the vote.

Politics thrives on moments of clarity,” said Susan B. Anthony List President Marjorie Dannenfelser.  “This legislation to protect the most innocent among us is an opportunity for clarity heading into the 2016 elections. Protecting pain-capable babies and mothers at risk during a late-term abortion is a winning issue and one that has unified the entire Republican presidential field. Where does Hillary Clinton stand?

“Last week, the New York Times highlighted a study which found that premature infants can survive prior to 24 weeks, generally thought to be the point of ‘viability.’ The ongoing national conversation on this bill should force Hillary Clinton and the entire Democratic Party to choose. Will they side with the wisdom of the American majority, or maintain their chilling pro-abortion platform: support for abortion on-demand, for any reason, up until the moment of birth, at taxpayer’s expense. We look forward to seeing Sen. Lindsey Graham take up this battle in the upper chamber. The American people deserve to know where their Senators stand when it comes to protecting life more than halfway through pregnancy,” Dannenfelser added.

“It is absurd that what happened in Gosnell’s House of Horrors – babies being born alive and then brutally having their spinal cords severed – is legally allowed to happen each and every day to babies of the same gestational age in the womb.  These babies are pulled apart limb by limb. We need to make sure that as the leader of the free world our abortion policies are not aligning with countries like China and North Korea,” said Peggy Nance, CEO of Concerned Women for America Legislative Action Committee, said in a released statement. 

“The Pain-Capable Unborn Children Protection Act ensures that babies who are at five months gestation — who suck their thumbs, react to their mothers’ voices, and feel and recoil from excruciating pain — will no longer be killed in the womb.  This crucial piece of legislation passed today by the U.S. House is the first step in our efforts to stop this abomination,” Nance added. “We commend House Leadership for their steadfast commitment to protecting the unborn, and we call on Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to quickly bring this bill up for a vote in the Senate.”

“This bill would save thousands of unborn babies annually from terribly painful deaths,” said Carol Tobias, president of National Right to Life. “It is now clear that the overwhelming majority of House Democrats believe that painfully dismembering babies, in the sixth month and later, is just fine – now let them try to explain that to their constituents.”

“Every innocent life deserves to be protected. We commend the House for putting the health and well-being of mothers and unborn children first. Not only does this law protect children in the womb who can experience horrific pain, it also protects mothers from the increased risk of physical harm and the tremendous psychological consequences that come with late-term abortions. The Senate, which will consider the bill next, can rest assured that this is good law,” Alliance Defending Freedom Senior Counsel Steven H. Aden said.

The Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act has been the right-to-life movement’s top congressional priority for the 114th Congress. Like the state bills, the proposed federal law would generally extend legal protect to unborn humans beginning at 20 weeks fetal age, based on congressional findings that by that point (and even earlier) the unborn child has the capacity to experience great pain during an abortion.

In recent days, members of the national pro-life group Susan B. Anthony List have made over 12,250 live constituent calls to key Members of Congress urging this vote. The legislation to stop abortion after five months based on the unborn child’s ability to feel pain is supported by the majority of Americans, women in even higher numbers than men.

A November 2014 poll from Quinnipiac found that 60 percent of Americans, including 56 percent of Independents and 46 percent of Democrats, support the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act.

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