By Paul Strand
CBN News, WASHINGTON — The Senate defeated a move to ban abortions in America after 20 weeks.
The 54-42 vote on Tuesday was a disappointment to those who say it’s high time America join most of the civilized world in banning abortions after the fifth month.
“It is appalling that the United States is one of only seven countries where elective abortions after 20 weeks are legal,” Sen. Pat Roberts, R-Kan., said ahead of the vote.
Among those countries are the likes of North Korea and China.
Before Tuesday’s vote, pro-life partisans gathered on Capitol Hill to argue science and experience now prove the unborn 20 weeks and older can feel pain and survive outside the womb.
They brought an example to the Senate: 3-year-old Micah Pickering, born when he was only 22 weeks old, an age when most American unborn babies can still be aborted.
Sen. James Lankford, R-Okla., co-sponsored the Pain Capable Unborn Babies Protection Act.
“That’s a living child,” he said of 20-week-old fetuses. “This bill does something that we should consider very non-controversial: when a child can experience pain, shouldn’t we protect the life of that child?”
Bill sponsor Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., agreed.
“We now know that baby feels pain,” he said. “And can you imagine the pain that comes from being aborted?”
Some opponents of the ban pooh-pooh the idea that unborn babies 20 weeks old can be viable. That’s why the Pickering family brought baby Micah all the way from Iowa for the Senate’s 20-week abortion ban vote.
“He’s perfect. He’s got great eyes. He’s got great ears. He’s got perfect mental function. He loves trucks and dirts and throwing rocks,” Danielle Pickering, Micah’s mother, said of her healthy son.
Senators had to walk past Micah Pickering on their way to vote on whether mothers have a right to abort babies as old as Micah was when he was born.
The pro-life group Susan B. Anthony List hosted the Pickerings in Washington. Before the Tuesday vote, SBA List President Marjorie Dannenfelser spoke at a Capitol Hill news conference featuring Micah.
“We appeal to the conscience of each senator who is on the fence on this issue today. When you think about casting your vote, think about the children you don’t know and Micah in particular,” she said.
The vote fell mostly along party lines, with all but three Democrats opposing the ban, despite more than 60 percent of Americans supporting it.
Dannenfelser told CBN News after the vote, “I’m really disappointed, but I’m not a hundred percent shocked.”
“Unfortunately, what has happened is the Democratic Party apparatus has dug well into the extreme abortion agenda, and there is no abortion that they will allow their own members to vote against,” she said.
Dannenfelser said pro-life efforts will now turn to electing an anti-abortion president in 2016 – a chief executive who someday might sign into law a 20-week abortion ban.
Report via CBN News
The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Barb Wire.