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Bill banning abortion at 20 weeks

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House Committee Passes Bill Banning Abortions at 20 Weeks of Pregnancy

by Steven Ertelt | Washington, DC | | 6/12/13 1:37 PM

With Republicans supporting it and Democrats opposed, a House committee has passed a bill that would ban abortions nationwide at 20 weeks of pregnancy. 

Much of the debate focused on weaking amendments by Democrats who hoped to gut the bill and allow late-term abortions in cases to protect a woman's health - even though abortions after 20 weeks are not necessary for health reasons and would allow virtually all late-term abortions to remain legal.

The committee passed the bill on a 20-12 vote and the measure now heads to the full House floor where it is expected to receive a debate and vote next week.

Also during the debate, lawmakers turned back efforts by Democrats to add a rape and incest exception to the late-term abortion ban. Rep. Trent Franks, an Arizona Republican who is the bill sponsor, said an unborn baby would be killed regardless of how she was conceived.

"The fundamental opposition here should be predicated on the notion that this child is going into the 6th month of pregnancy," Franks said.

According to Franks, "Knowingly subjecting our innocent unborn children to dismemberment in the womb, particularly when they have developed to the point that they can feel excruciating pain every terrible moment leading up to their undeserved deaths, belies everything America was called to be. This is not who we are."

"Pregnancies from rape that result in abortion after the beginning of the sixth month are very rare. This bill does not address unborn children in earlier gestations. Indeed, the bill does nothing to restrict abortions performed before the beginning of the 6th month," he added. "The real question before us is not whether these unborn children entering their six-month of gestation are capable of feeling pain. The real question is, are we?"

Last week, the House Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution and Civil Justice voted on a party-line vote 6-4 for the bill, with Republicans supporting the ban on late-term abortions and Democrats opposing it.

During the hearing, former abortion practitioner Anthony Levatino told members of the committee the gruesome details of his former abortion practice and how he became pro-life following the tragic automobile accident of his child.

Another bombshell dropped during the hearing came from Dr. Maureen Condic, who is Associate Professor of Neurobiology and Adjunct Professor of Pediatrics at the University of Utah School of Medicine. She testified that the unborn child is capable of reacting to pain as early as 8-10 weeks. This is when most abortions in America take place.

The committee also saw graphic pictures of babies who were killed by Douglas Karpen, who is considered the second Kermit Gosnell.

After the subcommittee vote for the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act (H.R. 1797), Franks told LifeNews: "I understand the unfortunate reality that today's markup will be surrounded by some degree of controversy. But we, as a nation, find ourselves at a point at which we don't offer unborn children even the most basic protections - even protections we extend to animals and property."

Franks added: "The trial of Kermit Gosnell exposed late abortions for what they really are: relocated infanticide. I pray we use this as a ‘teachable moment,' in the words of President Obama, and can agree that, at the very least, we are better than dismembering babies who can feel every excruciating moment. I look forward to the bill's moving on the full Judiciary Committee and to an eventual vote on this necessary, common-sense measure."

Congressman Franks believes the national abortion ban is timely in light of the conviction of abortionist Kermit Gosnell and news reports of potentially similar gruesome late abortion practitioners around the country.

"I know when the subject is related in any way to abortion, the doors of reason and human compassion in our minds and hearts often close, and the humanity of the unborn can no longer be seen. But I pray we can at least come together to agree that we can and should draw the line at the point that these innocent babies can feel the excruciating pain of these brutal procedures," he said.

Franks added:  "The case of Kermit Gosnell shocked the sensibilities of millions of Americans. However, the crushing fact is that abortions on babies just like the ones killed by Kermit Gosnell have been happening hundreds of times per day, every single day, for the past 40 years. Indeed, let us not forget that, had Kermit Gosnell dismembered these babies before they had traveled down the birth canal only moments earlier, he would have, in many places nationwide, been performing an entirely legal procedure. If America truly understands that horrifying reality, hearts and laws will change."

"To this end, I have re-introduced the D.C. Pain Capable Unborn Protection Act, which will now be amended to broaden its coverage so that its provisions will apply nationwide," he said. "Knowingly subjecting our innocent unborn children to dismemberment in the womb, particularly when they have developed to the point that they can feel excruciating pain every terrible moment leading up to their undeserved deaths, belies everything America was called to be. This is not who we are."

The move to expand the bill to ban abortions after 20 weeks nationwide has the strong support of the National Right to Life Committee.

"National Right to Life strongly concurs in Congressman Franks' decision that the time is ripe to seek protection for pain-capable unborn children nationwide," said NRLC Legislative Director Douglas Johnson. "Because of publicity surrounding the trial of Kermit Gosnell and subsequent revelations about other abortionists, many Americans are becoming aware for the first time that abortions are frequently performed late in pregnancy on babies who are capable of being born alive, and on babies who will experience great pain while being killed."

Johnson says that in a nationwide poll of 1,003 registered voters in March, The Polling Company found that 64% would support a law such as the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act prohibiting abortion after 20 weeks - when an unborn baby

Johnson added that the federal bill contains legislative findings and operative language very similar to bills already enacted in nine states, beginning in 2010, based on model legislation prepared by NRLC. Like those state laws, Mr. Franks' legislation contains findings of fact regarding the medical evidence that unborn children experience pain at least by 20 weeks after fertilization (which is 22 weeks in the "LMP" system, or about the start of the sixth month), and prohibits abortion after that point, except when an acute physical condition endangers the life of the mother.

During the 2011-12 Congress, Mr. Franks' bill garnered 222 co-sponsors in the 435-member House, and received the support of a majority of House members on July 31, 2012 (roll call no. 539).

The science behind the concept of fetal pain is fully established and Dr. Steven Zielinski, an internal medicine physician from Oregon, is one of the leading researchers into it. He first published reports in the 1980s to validate research showing evidence for it.

He has testified before Congress that an unborn child could feel pain at "eight-and-a-half weeks and possibly earlier" and that a baby before birth "under the right circumstances, is capable of crying."

He and his colleagues Dr. Vincent J. Collins and Thomas J. Marzen  were the top researchers to point to fetal pain decades ago. Collins, before his death, was Professor of Anesthesiology at Northwestern University and the University of Illinois and author of Principles of Anesthesiology, one of the leading medical texts on the control of pain.

"The functioning neurological structures necessary to suffer pain are developed early in a child's development in the womb," they wrote.

"Functioning neurological structures necessary for pain sensation are in place as early as 8 weeks, but certainly by 13 1/2 weeks of gestation. Sensory nerves, including nociceptors, reach the skin of the fetus before the 9th week of gestation. The first detectable brain activity occurs in the thalamus between the 8th and 10th weeks. The movement of electrical impulses through the neural fibers and spinal column takes place between 8 and 9 weeks gestation. By 13 1/2 weeks, the entire sensory nervous system functions as a whole in all parts of the body," they continued.

With Zielinski and his colleagues the first to provide the scientific basis for the concept of fetal pain, Dr. Kanwaljeet Anand of the University of Arkansas Medical Center has provided further research to substantiate their work.

"The neural pathways are present for pain to be experienced quite early by unborn babies," explains Steven Calvin, M.D., perinatologist, chair of the Program in Human Rights Medicine, University of Minnesota, where he teaches obstetrics.

Further documentation and links to the scientific studies can be found at:




by on Jun. 13, 2013 at 10:12 AM
Replies (41-50):
by Platinum Member on Jun. 13, 2013 at 12:45 PM
4 moms liked this

There are studies that suggest a fetus feels pain early on, but they provide no sufficient evidence.  Most neurbiologists agree it's really not possible until much later in the pregnancy.

There absolutely are medical reasons for an abortion, and if someone is telling you different, they are lying.

If LiveAction told me the sky was blue, I'd have to look up and check.  They are notorious liars.

Ireland is abortion free (for now), creating something called "abortion tourism" - you just go to England.  This policy also recently killed a woman.

A woman and her doctor are the best people to make such a decision.  Not you, and not a preacher, and not a politician.

Quoting sierraemilie:

I agree with the ban. There are even some studies that suggest the child feels pain as early as eight weeks. Frankly, abortion at any point is wrong. I am 100 percent pro life. To the woman diagnosed with breast cancer. I am praying for you. I'm really sorry you are sick. :( its a sacrifice for sure but technically here are no medical reasons to abort a child. There are women who have had the same diagnose and have not had an abortion. There are so many things wrong with the abortion industry and this ban is a step in the right direction. Also it's okay to call the baby a fetus because fetus in Latin means little choicers like to think this takes away the baby's humanity but it doesn't :) most of them probably don't know the definition of that word. I'm sorry you've had to see those aborted babies. I imagine that's etched in your mind. But it's true that without proper medical intervention a child born that early will die. It's also true that an abortion doctor is REQUIRED by law to help those children. That's under the born alive protection act. Because sometimes these children DON'T die during an abortion. And as undercover videos from are showing and the case of Kermit Gosnell, these doctors aren't following that law. Instead they snip the back of the baby's neck, puncture the soft spot, twist off their necks, suffocate them, or throw them out in the trash to die. Ireland is abortion fee. There are many misconception about it being "medically" necessary. Inducing labor and dilivering a baby via c section or vaginally preterm is NOT an abortion. It gives the baby proper medical care to survive afterwards and the mother her medical care. Rant over! If you have any questions on this subject I'm pretty knowledgable so shoot me a message. 

by Platinum Member on Jun. 13, 2013 at 12:46 PM
2 moms liked this

By the way, this bill is bullshit.

It contains no exceptions for the health of the mother, rape or incest.

Only 1.5% of women who obtain an abortion do so in the 20 to 24 week range.  Trent is obsessed.

by on Jun. 13, 2013 at 12:57 PM
1 mom liked this

First of all to think that any pro choice website isn't biased is hilarious. Liveaction releases the full unedited versions of their investigations so of you have two hours to spend go watch all of their unedited videos. :) I did. Even if a child doesn't feel pain that early on it doesn't make them less of a human. If you were all drugged up before a surgery and the doctor decided to end your life because the timing wasn't right for him to work you'd still be dead... Abortion stops a beating heart of a HUMAN being. Embryologists agree it isHUMAN and I think all HUMANS should have the right to life. If a mother and her preborn baby are sick you can deliver the child and then give the proper medical care to both patients. The death of Savita in Ireland was tragic but abortion wouldn't have saved her life and if you did any research at all you'd know this. Yes I think the government in Ireland is ignoring what the people of Ireland want which is to keep it abortion free. Or did your bias pro choice news source not tell you about the millions of people who marched against abortion there? A Doctor signs the hypocritical oath to NOT kill and these abortion doctors have terrible terrible records. They are in it for the money. And that's it. It's greedy, bad medicine. And women die from having abortions most of the time it's because of the negligence of the abortion doctor. 

by Silver Member on Jun. 13, 2013 at 12:57 PM
1 mom liked this

This! That is plenty of time to decide and take action! I think it would be great if some compromise could be agreed to on this issue.I feel this would be a great compromise.

Quoting TruthSeeker.:

I agree with a ban after 20 weeks unless the mothers life is at risk.

by on Jun. 13, 2013 at 12:59 PM
2 moms liked this

Rape is terrible and I wish it on no one. But studies have found that women who keep their children after being raped and becoming pregnant heal quicker from that act of sexual violence. The we on who abort have only opened up another wound.

by Silver Member on Jun. 13, 2013 at 1:01 PM

IF it is true that the bill states no abortion after 20 weeks UNLESS the mothers life is in danger would you support it then? If not why?

Quoting jaxTheMomm:

It won't pass.

Nor should it.

by Silver Member on Jun. 13, 2013 at 1:04 PM
1 mom liked this

Yep it absolutely is murder.

Quoting TruthSeeker.:


Quoting LaughCryLive:

I'm just curious about someone's mentality that could have such a late abortion just because.

I have seen 19-20 week abortions Irl. It's not pretty.

  I'm concerned with a Physician that would perform an abortion after 20 weeks just because but there are those that do it. There was an article about an abortion Dr. in this group that did them at 38 weeks just because. I call that murder.

by Member on Jun. 13, 2013 at 1:06 PM
2 moms liked this

 I completely agree with you. Thinking that late term abortions are done because a women just "waited too long" are completely false. There are many conditions and situations that are not caught or happen till later in pregnancy. The point is, the government has NO SAY in the medical decision you make and it should stay that way. No one can ever fathom the heart breaking pain a woman goes through in these moments. We should leave it for women, their PCP and family to decide.

Quoting TruthSeeker.:

Quoting kiriis:

I never thought I would see so much agreement is this group.  That said, I also agree. If you and baby are healthy, why wait so long?

 There are a few reasons for late abortions other than mothers life is at risk. There are conditions that are often found later in pregnancy around 20 weeks of fatal genetic conditions where the baby Will die in the womb or shortly there after. Some conditions are horrific and painful for the baby. Some believe it is more merciful to abort than to make the baby suffer. Think Trisomy18. Other conditions are extremely low to no amniotic fluid and the mothers organs are literally crushing the baby to death. 

 Unfortunately this isn't a black or white issue. There are Extreme circumstances where late term abortion may need to stay legal. But, I vehemently disagree with late term "just because" abortions.


by Member on Jun. 13, 2013 at 1:07 PM
1 mom liked this

 Can you show me this study??? Cause I am calling false here

Quoting sierraemilie:

Rape is terrible and I wish it on no one. But studies have found that women who keep their children after being raped and becoming pregnant heal quicker from that act of sexual violence. The we on who abort have only opened up another wound.


by Silver Member on Jun. 13, 2013 at 1:09 PM
1 mom liked this

I'm a rabid pro-choicer, but I'm 100% anti-elective late term abortion. I don't care what your reasons for wanting an abortion are, but you need to make up your mind BEFORE your pregnancy is already half over. I do think late term abortions should remain a legal option when medically necessary though. What a lot of pro-lifers fail to acknowledge is before 23/24 weeks, the baby isn't viable outside the womb. If the mother's life is at risk before that fetal milestone, an abortion is the only option to save her life. And to top it all off, most fetal abnormalities aren't even discovered until the 20-week ultrasound. I think it's beyond cruel to force a woman to carry a baby with no chance of life (or a really poor quality of life) to term because some law on the books says she has to.

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