On Tuesday, the U.S. House Judiciary Committee has scheduled a voting session on a National Right to Life-backed bill to protect unborn children in the Washington, D.C.
According to a National Right to Life press release, the bill, known as the District of Columbia Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, will prevent abortions in the federal District after a child has reached 20 weeks’ fetal age. According to NRLC legislative director Douglas Johnson, “[i]n the nation’s capital, abortion is now legal, for any reason, until the moment of birth. The District Council, employing authority delegated by Congress, repealed the entire abortion law.” Johnson explains that members of Congress and the president are responsible for the District’s extreme policy “because the Constitution says that Congress shall ‘exercise exclusive legislation in all cases whatsoever, over such District.’”
Congressman Trent Franks, a Republican from Arizona, introduced the House version of the bill, known as H.R. 3803. The bill explains that by 20 weeks after fertilization, a child has the capacity to experience “great pain.” Because of those findings, the District of Columbia Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act will prevent abortions beyond 20 weeks after fertilization. The only exception in the law applies when the life of the mother is endangered.
According to National Right to Life’s Monday press release, at a hearing on May 17, expert testimony explained “that at 20 weeks fetal age, 6 percent of infants born spontaneously now survive long term in good neo-natal units.”
Johnson explained that “[a] vote against this bill amounts to a vote to ratify the current policy of legal abortion, for any reason, until the moment of birth.”
You can find more information about the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act here. Seven states have already enacted legislation based on the National Right to Life model bill.