House Looks the Mother Way

Barb Wire

House leaders are giving Americans an early Mother’s Day present — a mid-week vote on the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act!

After a five-month tug-of-war, the rape and incest issues that snagged the bill are finally ironed out, and Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) says conservatives are ready to deliver on the promise they made in January: getting the measure back on track.

Under this latest version of the bill, members have closed some of the loopholes and added even more protective layers to the five-month ban, especially where young women are concerned.

Apart from blocking abortions after 20 weeks, when babies suffer most, the new language includes a 48-hour waiting period for any woman requesting a late-term abortion under the exceptions — and ensures that she’s had counseling and medical help.

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It also adds a key Born-Alive Infants Protection component, which guarantees that babies who survive an abortion would get the same hospital care that any other preemie would.

If a girl under 18 is pregnant because of rape or incest, H.R. 36 requires that abortion clinics notify social services or the police to stop the abuse from happening again. And if doctors violate the law, Rep. Trent Franks’s (R-Ariz.) bill gives women and young girls’ parents the right to sue.

Most pro-life leaders think that if the bill had been law when Kermit Gosnell was operating, there’s a good chance that most of his victims would be alive today. The new measure is so strong that experts believe it could save as many as 13,000 babies a year — enough to populate St. Augustine, Florida!

Of course, the Left likes to argue that the bill is extreme — but what’s actually extreme is our current law. Believe it or not, America is one of just seven countries that allow abortion past 20 weeks.

For a country blessed with such incredible prenatal technology, it’s mind-blowing that we haven’t changed our laws to reflect the basic personhood of these tiny humans. Science has expanded our knowledge of unborn pain, and it’s time for the law to catch up. What kind of inhumane culture gives “wanted” babies anesthesia but tortures others?

“Life is precious,” Leader McCarthy said, “and we must do everything we can to fight for it and protect it. Our commitment for the House to consider this important legislation has been steadfast, and I’m proud of the work of our members to prepare this bill for House consideration next week.”

For Congressman Chris Smith (R-N.J.) and Diane Black (R-Tenn.) it was a relief to get past the internal road blocks and bring something to the floor that everyone can be proud of. “It will be good to have a truly united pro-life conference,” Rep. Smith told reporters.

And the bill doesn’t just have the support of Republicans it also has the overwhelming support of a majority of Americans.

Once they hear the facts on fetal pain, as many as 84% of people throw their support behind the five-month ban. “Between 20 and 30 weeks post-fertilization, an unborn child has more pain receptors per square inch of skin than at any other time in his or her life, with only a very thin layer of skin for protection.”

It’s time to give these tiny children the real protection that H.R. 36 provides. Celebrate Mother’s Day by helping create more of them! Contact your congressman today and encourage them to support Rep. Franks’s bill, 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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