House will vote to ban abortions in the U.S. after five months

The U.S. House is poised to vote on a 20-week abortion ban on the two-year anniversary of the conviction of Philadelphia abortionist Kermit Gosnell. Gosnell, who brutally killed babies born alive as a result of botched abortions, ran a filthy facility dubbed the “House of Horrors.” During trial, witnesses said Gosnell callously joked about the children he butchered outside of the womb, snipping the necks of some with scissors and storing the bodies of others.

The vote on the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act comes five months after a GOP debacle sabotaged a vote on the anniversary of Roe v. Wade in January. The National Review reports that lawmakers have worked to reintroduce the bill for a vote on the anniversary of Gosnell’s conviction:

A core group of lawmakers — McMorris Rodgers, Representative Diane Black (R., Tenn.), Representative Trent Franks (R., Ariz.), Representative Vicky Hartzler (R., Mo.), Representative Joe Pitts (R., Penn.), and Representative Chris Smith (R., N.J.) — hammered out a compromise, in consultation with the activist groups. The new legislation modulates the reporting requirements by allowing a rape victim to seek a late-term abortion if she has sought medical treatment or counseling at least 48 hours before the procedure. . . .

On the other side of the ledger, pro-life groups were satisfied by new language stipulating that late-term abortions must be conducted in the presence of a physician who can provide medical care to any baby born alive through a botched abortion. That measure is a direct response to the case of Kermit Gosnell, the late-term-abortion doctor who was convicted of murdering three babies who were born alive. 

The bill’s co-sponsor, Tennessee Congressman Diane Black, praised the decision, calling the measure an important piece of legislation that will save preborn lives.

“I am pleased that we have devised a stronger, improved bill that will ultimately save more unborn lives,” Black said. “This is a human rights issue. Science tells us that, after 20 weeks, babies can feel pain and are increasingly able to live outside the womb.”

The Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act would effectively ban abortions nationwide after five months. The measure notes that there is substantive scientific research that proves preborn children in the womb feel pain at least by 20 weeks gestation.

In a testimony to the U.S. Congress, Dr. Maureen Condic noted that by 8 to 10 weeks, a preborn child is capable of reacting to painful sensory input. By 12 to 18 weeks, Condic said the child is capable of mature pain perception.

“The debate over fetal pain is not whether pain is detected by a fetus at 20 weeks —there is essentially universal agreement on this point in the scientific community,” Condic said. “Rather, the debate concerns how pain is experienced, whether the fetus has the same pain experience as a newborn or adult.”

In 2004, Dr. Kanwalijeet “Sunny” Anand, testified before Congress that a preborn child’s ability to feel pain may be even more intense than an adult.

“Mechanisms that inhibit or moderate the experience of pain do not begin to develop until 32 to 34 weeks post-fertilization,” Anand said. “Any pain the unborn child experiences before these pain inhibitors are in place is likely more intense than the pain an older infant or adult experiences when subjected to similar types of injury.”

Pro-lifers call the scheduled vote a timely decision, as two years have passed since Gosnell shocked the world for perpetrating horrific acts against children who were able to survive outside of the womb. Gosnell also performed abortions past the 24-week Pennsylvania abortion limit.

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