It is anticipated that this week the U.S. House of Representatives will vote on the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act (H.R. 36). The bill was originally introduced by Reps. Trent Franks (R-AZ) and Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) in January. Rep. Franks is proposing an amended version this week.
Time is short; a vote is expected this Wednesday. Respond to send a message of support to your Representative immediately! Please click https://www.votervoice.net/NCHLA/Campaigns/38155/Respond
Since there is substantial medical evidence that an unborn child is capable of experiencing pain at least by 20 weeks after fertilization, H.R. 36 asserts a compelling governmental interest in protecting unborn children from this stage. With limited exceptions, the bill makes it unlawful to perform or attempt to perform an abortion if the probable post-fertilization age of the unborn child is 20 weeks or greater.
Thanks for all that you do in support of life! Together we will be heard.
The following information is from Fr. Frank Pavone, National Director, Priests for Life
They Feel Pain; Let’s Protect Them
Historic legislation, focusing on the pain children feel when they are killed in the womb by abortion, will be voted on in the US House of Representatives this week, possibly on the second anniversary (May 13) of the conviction of abortionist Kermit Gosnell. His trial raised the public’s awareness of late term abortion.
The measure is called the “Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Act” (H.R. 36), and says that from the point of 20 weeks of development forward, children in the womb may not be killed by abortion.
These children do feel pain, and protecting children from pain is a good motive for the state to protect them from abortion.
Consider the fact that, not so long ago, it was thought that newborns could not feel pain. Surgery was carried out on newborn and premature infants with minimal or no anesthesia. But since 1986, this practice has been unacceptable, and it is recognized that they can experience severe pain.
Pain cannot be measured directly. The unborn child cannot say “Ouch!” What has to be examined instead are things like stress reactions, measured by the release of certain hormones in the blood, and the presence of the various anatomical structures necessary for the transmission and perception of pain. Studies have shown various hormonal reactions as well as “full body response,” when the whole body reacts to a painful stimulus rather than just one part of the body as would happen with a reflex. Moreover, the unborn child at this stage has the three key elements needed for pain perception: the pain sensors throughout the body, the thalamus of the brain, and the nerve pathways connecting the two, via the spinal cord. The cerebral cortex of the brain is not necessary in order to feel pain.
Moreover, the unborn may actually feel more pain than the adult because there is evidence that the mechanisms that inhibit pain seem to develop after those that enable the perception of pain.
And these are the things we need to talk about when discussing this legislation with family, friends, church leaders, and coworkers. Don’t talk so much about a “limit” or “restriction on abortion,” as valid as that is. Talk about the reality that these babies feel pain. Most people who oppose banning abortion nevertheless also care about protecting babies from pain.
Now President Obama, because of his own positions and because of the obsession that the Democratic Party has with permitting the killing of children in the womb, would veto this legislation if it came to his desk. But we will have a president in the White House before long who will sign this legislation. And the process must start now, just as the process to protect children from partial-birth abortion started under the Democratic pro-abortion president Bill Clinton. This will be a multi-Congress effort. The debates have to be held, positions and arguments have to be developed, legislators have to go on record, and the public has to be educated. Moreover, a legislator’s position on such a bill should be an election issue if he or she is running for office in 2016.
From a moral dimension, every abortion is equally wrong, though the wrongness of every abortion is not equally evident to the public. Our goal is to protect every child, but if the legislative will is not present to protect all the children now, it is not only morally permissible but morally obligatory to do everything we can to protect the children that the legislative body is willing to protect at the present time. Some people mistakenly think that because this law does not protect every child now, that we should not be in favor of it. They mistakenly think we are guilty for not doing what we cannot do. But that is not true. We become guilty, instead, for not doing what we can do, and this bill, when it becomes law, could in fact save approximately 18,000 lives a year in America.
ACTION ALERT: Help us Protect Children from Painful Abortions!
Join me in the next chapter of the effort to restore legal protection to children in the womb!
I have written to you before about the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act,
A piece of legislation that protects children in the womb from 20 weeks of development forward.
Why 20 weeks? Because, given the fact that such babies can feel pain by that time, and that most of the public favors protecting such children from abortion, a majority of lawmakers are now ready to pass such a bill!
And in fact they have passed it in about a dozen states, and even in the US House of Representatives in the last Congress! Now, the current Congress is ready to vote on it again – this week! Let me say at the outset that of course, we are determined to protect every baby and stop ALL abortion. And we reach that goal step by step, by protecting now the babies that we are able to protect through legislation that we have enough support to enact. After all, they are persons, they deserve protection now, and the fact that others aren’t protected yet doesn’t mean they shouldn’t be.
I firmly believe that the “Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Act” is the most significant piece of pro-life legislation to be introduced so far on the federal level, and is the next chapter in our ongoing battle to end abortion.
Please make a phone call today to your Representative in Congress to urge him or her to vote for this bill. I will give you information below as to how best to do that.
The House bill is called H.R. 36, the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act.
This bill is a nightmare for the abortion industry. Not only do they not want to see it passed, but they don’t even want it discussed. Imagine the anxiety caused to the abortion business when people start talking about the pain the child feels when her arms and legs are torn off by the abortionist who is paid to do so!
We can stop this painful dismemberment of children through this Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act. As you know, our country has already prohibited on the federal level (and in many states) the particular procedure of partial-birth abortion. That, too, was a step forward.
But whereas that law stops only one method of killing these children, the Pain-Capable bill would protect those same children from any and all methods of killing!
And you can help advance this legislation with a simple phone call.
So please click here for the information http://www.priestsforlife.org/alert/alert.aspx?id=65 on how to make that phone call today, and what to say.
And please forward this email to as many other people as you can!
Fr. Frank Pavone
National Director, Priests for Life
Priests for Life
PO Box 141172
Staten Island, NY 10314