Communications Department

Alabama House Votes to Protect Pain-Capable Unborn Children

Apr 7, 2011 | 2011 Press Releases

WASHINGTON – Today, the Alabama House of Representatives voted 69-19 to pass the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, which protects unborn children capable of feeling pain. The action of the Alabama House continues a trend sweeping through the state legislatures. Already this session, the both houses of the legislatures of Idaho, Kansas and Oklahoma have voted in favor of enacting similar legislation. Governors in all three states are expected to sign the measure into law.

“Alabama is the latest in a line of states poised to protect unborn children capable of feeling pain,” said Mary Spaulding Balch, J.D., director of state legislation for the National Right to Life Committee (NRLC). “State legislatures are stepping up to protect these children, thus reflecting the majority wishes of their constituents.”

The model Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, drafted by the National Right to Life Committee’s legislation department, protects the life of the pain-capable unborn child at the point that they can feel pain (which is, when the best documented scientific evidence indicates to be, 20 weeks after fertilization) except when the mother “has a condition which so complicates her medical condition as to necessitate the abortion of her pregnancy to avert death or to avert serious risk of substantial or irreversible physical impairment of a major bodily function or…it is necessary to preserve the life of an unborn child.” Further documentation and links to the scientific studies can be found at:

This continued trend in the states during the spring legislative session began in Nebraska last year when they passed this first-of-its-kind legislation. In addition to Alabama, the NRLC model Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act is currently under consideration in Oregon, Massachusetts, and Minnesota.

“We are pleased with the progress we have been making in the states,” said Spaulding Balch. “We are working to ensure that pain-capable unborn children all across the country will be protected from horrendous death by abortion.”

The National Right to Life Committee (NRLC), the federation of 50 state right-to-life organizations and more than 3,000 local chapters nationwide, is the nation’s largest pro-life group. National Right to Life works through legislation and education to protect those threatened by abortion, infanticide, euthanasia and assisted suicide.