Thursday, May 22, 2014

Senators promote abortion pain bill

Excerpted from "GOP senators demand vote on banning abortions after 20 weeks," The Hill, May 7, 2014 - Republican senators are demanding a vote on legislation that would ban most abortions after 20 weeks, citing a new study that says fetuses can feel pain at that point in their development.
Sen. Kelly Ayotte
Sen. Kelly Ayotte
Thirty-three senators led by Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.) asked Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) to bring Sen. Lindsey Graham’s (R-S.C.) abortion bill to the Senate floor for a vote. The bill, also known as the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, would ban abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy except in cases of rape, incest or when necessary to save the life of the mother.

In the letter to Reid, the senators cited a study from the research arm of the Susan B. Anthony List, a group that opposes abortion. The report calls on the U.S. to end abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy, a move it said would be in line with international norms.

“It is time that we in Congress act to bring the United States out of the fringe and closer to international norms on late abortions,” the senators wrote in their letter. Thirteen states have already enacted bans on abortions after 20-weeks, and according to polls, at least a plurality of people in the United States support the idea.

“I find it troubling that the United States is standing with countries such as China and North Korea in allowing elective abortions past 20 weeks,” Graham said. “With an impressive 40 co-sponsors and overwhelming support by the public in poll after poll, it is time that Majority Leader Reid allow a vote on a compassionate 20-week limit.”


Jonathan ImbodyCMA VP for Govt. Relations Jonathan Imbody: “I have worked with Sen. Ayotte on domestic healthcare issues and with Sen. Graham on international healthcare issues, and both senators bring to their office compassion and a determination to defend those who cannot defend themselves. Their bill, the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, builds upon science and testimony such as CMA members have provided to Congress. The bill, which protects pain-capable children beginning at 20 weeks and is expected to save the lives of roughly 18,000 unborn babies each year, deserves our support because:
  • Evidence indicates that unborn children feel pain by at least 20 weeks post-fertilization.
  • Studies show that late abortions substantially risk women’s health.
  • The United States is one of only seven countries to permit elective abortion past 20 weeks, joining China, North Korea, Canada, Vietnam, Singapore and the Netherlands.
  • A 2008 study by the Guttmacher Institute shows that there are at least 140 abortionists willing to perform abortions at 20 weeks fetal age and beyond.
  • The majority of late abortions are performed on an elective basis, according to the testimony of abortionists.1
  • Thirteen states have enacted this legislation, with several more in the process.2 The U.S. House passed this legislation in June 2013 by a vote of 228-196.
  • Consensus exists among Americans to enact legislation protecting unborn babies beginning at 20 weeks. Polling from Quinnipiac (62 percent), the Huffington Post (59 percent) and numerous others consistently confirms the American public’s support for this legislation, especially among women (68 percent according to Quinnipiac).”

Use our Freedom2Care easy, pre-written and customizable form to urge your senators to support this bill.

Testimony on Fetal Pain by Dr. Jean Wright
Testimony on Fetal Pain by Dr. Julie Ann Griffin before the Kansas House of Representatives, Committee on Federal and State Affairs, February 16, 2011.
Fetal Pain Legislation: Is it Viable?
CMDA abortion-related resources
1Sprang, M. LeRoy, and Mark G. Neerhof, 1998, "Rationale for banning abortions late in pregnancy," Journal of the American Medical Association, 280:744-747.
2CLI map

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