Senators Prove Chronic Pain for Life

This week, senators were treated to the company of energetic little Micah Pickering, a thriving three-year-old who was born prematurely at 20 weeks post-fertilization. Micah’s story first caught public attention earlier this year when his story was told in a New York Times piece, causing Americans to grapple with the reality that premature babies are surviving at younger and younger ages of gestation.

Micah and his parents flew all the way from Iowa to the nation’s capital to advocate for the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act. The Pickerings sought to give the Senate living proof for why standing up for pain-capable babies is not only humane but compassionate and commonsense. They, along with Senator Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), FRC’s Arina Grossu, and other Senators and pro-life leaders participated in a press conference in advance of today’s Senate vote on the bill. Micah’s life is living proof that babies at 5 months gestation are living human beings that can feel pain. In the NICU, Micah was routinely administered pain medication, because the physicians knew his little body was in pain as he struggled to live.

YaysDuring his time on the Hill, Micah met Senator Susan Collins (R-Maine). If only she had listened to Micah. If only pro-abortion Senators had decided that lives like Micah’s matter and are worth protecting.

Republican Senators Collins and Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) both voted against the motion to proceed to the bill.

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We are grateful to the 54 Senators, including Democrat Senators Joe Donnelly (Ind.), Bob Casey (Pa.) and Joe Manchin (W.V.), who cast their votes to protect the lives of over 13,000 pain-capable babies who die tortuous deaths every year at five months or later.


NaysBut for the 42 who voted against this bill, I would ask — why? At five months, babies can yawn and stretch. Parents are encouraged to talk to their unborn little ones, who will begin responding to their voices. These babies can feel pain. And yet somehow, the propped up farce of women’s empowerment and the right to choose reigns supreme over the lives of unborn babies who are literally torn apart in their mother’s womb. What happened to the right of unborn little girls and boys to live? What about the government’s compelling interest to protect its own from cruel and unusual pain?

Senator Graham said that no matter what happened with the vote today, this isn’t the end. This fight is not going away. This is only the beginning.

The good news is that Leader McConnell filed cloture this afternoon on a motion to vote to defund Planned Parenthood as part of a short term Continuing Resolution to fund the government. It is similar to the House bill that passed on Friday, in that it would place a pause on funding for Planned Parenthood and redirect money for women’s health care to the thousands of health clinics that are not implicated in abortion for organ harvesting, partial birth abortion, and possible killing of babies born alive. Once again, your senators need to hear from you.

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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