Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act (H.R. 1797)
The Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act (S.1670) would protect unborn babies beginning at 20 weeks – more than halfway through pregnancy – and is the Susan B. Anthony List’s top legislative priority. This landmark legislation, passed by a wide margin in the House in a historic June 2013 vote, would save roughly 18,000 lives each year. Strong scientific evidence reveals that an unborn child can feel excruciating pain by at least 20 weeks.
Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of the SBA List, joined lead-sponsor Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) at the press conference introducing the historic bill (S.1670) on November 7. So far, S.1670 has 40 co-sponsors, including SBA List endorsed women Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-NH) and Sen. Deb Fischer (R-NE).
Take Action: Tell your Senators to co-sponsor and demand a vote on the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act (S.1670).
The companion legislation (H.R. 1797) was passed by the House of Representatives on June 18, 2013 by a 228-196 vote. The House floor debate was led by the Pro-Life Women’s Caucus, and marked the first time that Congress voted to protect an entire class of unborn children from abortion.
Polling shows that consensus exists among the American people – especially women – in support of this legislation. Quinnipiac, National Journal, Huffington Post, NBC/Wall Street Journal, and Washington Post/ABC News all found that a plurality or majority of Americans support limiting abortion after 20 weeks and that women support the measure in higher numbers than men. Quinnipiac found that 68 percent of women support legislation prohibiting abortion after 20 weeks, and 62 percent of Americans overall.
Late abortions are anything but rare. Based on data from a May 2010 Guttmacher Institute briefing, there are roughly 18,000 late abortions every year nationwide. Furthermore, data from the abortionists themselves does not support any claim that most abortions after 20 weeks are performed because of any dire medical circumstances for either mother or baby.
Commentators from across the political spectrum have called on Congress to pass this common sense measure while continually emerging evidence of negligence and brutality across the abortion industry has made it clear that Kermit Gosnell is not an outlier. Kermit Gosnell’s own defense attorney even called for a ban on abortion at 16 or 17 weeks.
When it came time for the House to debate this historic legislation, it was the Pro-Life Women’s Caucus – all endorsed candidates by the SBA List – who went to the front lines to speak out on the floor in strong support of H.R. 1797.
The SBA List partnered with national and state pro-life organizations to launch the Stop the Gosnells coalition to expose the horrors of the late abortion industry and encourage legislative response. In addition to grassroots activism, the SBA List hosted a Capitol Hill briefing in both the House and the Senate to educate Congressional staff, providing them with key messaging points and resources. The SBA List maintains an ever-expanding fact sheet of negligence by the abortion industry across the country.
Now that the House has passed the historic legislation banning abortions after 20 weeks, it is time for the Senate to vote on S.1670, introduced by Sen. Graham.
Take Action: Send a message to your Senators demanding a vote on protecting unborn babies beginning at 20 weeks – more than halfway through pregnancy – from the horror of late abortion.