Congressman Intros Bill to End Gruesome Late-Term Abortions in DC

Rep. Trent Franks
Rep. Trent Franks introduced the D.C. Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act and implored Congress to pass the bill, which would ban abortion in the District of Columbia after 20 weeks gestation. (Gage Skidmore / Creative Commons)

Rep. Trent Franks introduced the D.C. Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act and implored Congress to pass the bill, which would ban abortion in the District of Columbia after 20 weeks gestation, based on scientific research that shows unborn children feel pain past that point in development. Currently in the District, abortion is permitted for any reason until the moment of birth.

Susan B. Anthony List President Marjorie Dannenfelser applauded Franks' bill.

“In recent weeks, Americans have recoiled in horror at the details revealed at the trial of Philadelphia abortionist Kermit Gosnell, whose cold-blooded murder caused unspeakable pain for born and unborn babies,” Dannenfelser says. “It is an outrage that in the shadow of the Capitol, children can legally have their lives ended through methods equally brutal to those employed by Gosnell. Even more outrageous is that similar brutality is touted as a ‘right’ by President Obama and the abortion lobby, including Planned Parenthood.

“Last week,” she continues, “Planned Parenthood admitted to receiving multiple complaints about conditions at Gosnell’s ‘house of horrors’ clinic, yet chose not to exercise its position as the abortion industry leader to help put an end to the butchering of women and children. Their abortion extremism flies in the face of mainstream Americans, 63 percent (70 percent of women) of whom support protecting unborn children past the point at which they feel pain.

“Congress must act immediately to protect children from the Gosnells of our nation. We praise Rep. Franks for his courage and urge all members of Congress to vote in favor of protecting unborn children from the horrific pain of abortion.”

Previously, SBA List grass-roots activists sent more than 26,760 messages to Congress encouraging representatives to support this legislation. Friday’s re-introduced bill has 92 original co-sponsors.

A National Right to Life Committee poll found that 63 percent of Americans, and 70 percent of women, support a ban on post-fetal pain abortion in Washington, D.C. The same poll also found that American women, by an overwhelming majority of 62-27 percent, would be more likely to vote for lawmakers who support this bill.  

Medical research shows that by 20 weeks after fertilization, an unborn child has the capacity to feel pain. Some data even suggests that pain can be felt before 20 weeks. At this state of pregnancy, abortions are carried out by either D&E (dilation and evacuation), where the developing child’s arms and legs are broken off with manual force, or by instillation, a kind of lethal injection using potassium chloride, digoxin or, very infrequently, saline solution or prostaglandin. 

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