Pain-capable abortion ban passes congressional subcommittee

Washington D.C., Jun 6, 2013 / 01:26 pm (CNA).- By a vote of 6 to 4, the U.S. House Subcommittee on the Constitution and Civil Justice approved a bill on Tuesday that would ban abortions after 20 weeks of gestation.

The bill, introduced by Congressman Trent Franks (R-Ariz.), is based on mounting evidence which indicates that unborn children can feel pain at 20 weeks gestation and possibly earlier.

Rep. Franks said he hoped the recent trial of Philadelphia abortionist Kermit Gosnell had created a “teachable moment” on the reality of late-term abortions in the U.S. Gosnell was convicted last month of murdering babies who survived his late-term abortions. He was accused of mistreating patients and running an unsanitary clinic with blood-stained rooms and filthy equipment.

“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 said in a press release.

“The trial of Kermit Gosnell exposed late abortions for what they really are: relocated infanticide.”

The Susan B. Anthony List, a national pro-life group, released a statement of support for the bill upon its advancement.

“We praise Congress’ recent action not only to protect the lives of children capable of feeling pain, but to learn more about the practices going on inside late-term abortion facilities throughout the country,” said the group’s president, Marjorie Dannenfelser.

The SBA List is also participating in a new “Stop the Gosnells” coalition as an effort to encourage increased legislation addressing the impact of late-term abortions on women, children and society. The group has sent nearly 40,000 messages to representatives nationwide, calling for a ban on late-term abortions.

While the proposed legislation will need to pass several more hurdles to become law, Franks said he hopes to see it advance in the legislature.

“We are better than dismembering babies who can feel every excruciating moment,” the congressman said. “I look forward to the bill's moving on the full Judiciary Committee and to an eventual vote on this necessary, common-sense measure.”

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