Second Chance in the Second Trimester

As of today, three months have passed since a handful of Republicans thwarted House passage of the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act. The bill, co-sponsored by over 180 Members and widely supported by the American public was derailed on the day of the March for Life, as hundreds of thousands of pro-life Americans gathered in the nation’s capital to defend life. The Pain-Capable Act is a very simple and reasonable measure that restricts late-term abortions (after 5 months) at a time during pregnancy when medical science shows unborn babies can feel pain.

That is why today I joined with other national pro-life leaders in calling upon the GOP leaders in the House to vote and approve the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act and send the measure to the Senate.

So what derailed the bill in the first place? A handful of Members, including Rep. Renee Ellmers (R-N.C.), who had voted for the exact language in 2013, suddenly claimed that the exceptions in the case of rape and incest would require women to report the tragic circumstance of their pregnancy to law enforcement. These Members wanted changes that would have provided massive loopholes to unscrupulous abortionists like Kermit Gosnell that would have effectively gutted the bill’s protections. Pro-life Members including Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-Wash.), Rep. Diane Black (R-Tenn.) and Rep. Vicky Hartzler (R-Mo.) are working to strike a balance that maintains the integrity of the bill while avoiding unrelated controversies surrounding sexual assault reporting. We are now in the second trimester, it is time for Congress to act! It’s time to protect life. Let your Representative know you support moving forward the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act (H.R. 36).

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Barb Wire.

Tony Perkins
Tony Perkins is president of the Washington, D.C.-based Family Research Council. He is a former member of the Louisiana legislature where he served for eight years, and he is recognized as a legislative pioneer for authoring measures like the nation’s first Covenant Marriage law. (Via FRC’s Washington Update. Tony Perkins’ Washington Update is written with the aid of FRC senior writers.)

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