Led by Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), a group of U.S. Senators have reintroduced the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act which aims to ban abortion after 20 weeks gestation, when it is widely accepted that preborn children are able to feel pain.
According to the Endowment for Human Development, at 14 weeks, preborn human beings react to “light touch.” A March 2017 study published in the journal Cell also found that preborn children may be able to feel pain as soon as eight weeks after the discovery of adult-like nervous system patterns, even in their hands and feet. Another study recently revealed that preborn children can feel pain no later than the end of the first trimester. Despite these facts, 20 weeks remains the commonly accepted age at which preborn children are considered pain-capable.
Pro-life senators have failed multiple times to pass a pain-capable abortion ban. Before leaving office this month, Democrat Rep. Tulsi Gabbard introduced similar legislation in the House. Graham said he believes this legislation is on “the right side of history.” Recent polling reveals that 76% of Americans want abortion heavily restricted to, at latest, the first three months of pregnancy, or in cases of rape, incest, and to save the life of the mother. While a 20-week ban is a step in the right direction, children should be protected from the moment they come into being: at fertilization.
“I am proud to once again introduce the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act,” Graham said. “There are only seven countries that allow wholesale abortions at the 20-week period, including China and North Korea. The United States should not be in that club. I don’t believe abortion, five months into pregnancy, makes us a better nation. America is at her best when she’s standing up for the least among us, and the sooner we pass this legislation into law, the better.”
The most common abortion procedure used in the second trimester is a D&E dismemberment abortion in which a preborn child’s arms and legs are torn from his or her body and then his or her skull is crushed. In many cases, the child is alive when the brutal process begins.
The act is co-sponsored by 43 other Republican Senators and includes exemptions for rape and incest and in cases where the life of the mother is at risk. Deliberately killing a child in the womb, however, is never necessary to save the life of the mother. In an emergency, life-threatening situation, a woman and child are both better served with an emergency C-section —which takes minutes — as opposed to a days-long late-term abortion procedure in which the child ends up intentionally dead. Children born as young as 21 weeks are capable of surviving outside the womb. In addition, a child should not be targeted for abortion because of the circumstances in which she was conceived. Abortion doesn’t erase rape, and many women who have chosen abortion after rape have said that decision “just added more layers of trauma.”
If the act, which would not allow women who obtain abortions after 20 weeks illegally, is passed, it is unlikely that President Joe Biden would sign it.
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