Communications Department

Idaho Becomes Third State to Protect Pain-Capable Unborn Children

Apr 14, 2011 | 2011 Press Releases

WASHINGTON – Today, Idaho Governor C. L. “Butch” Otter signed the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, making Idaho the third state to protect from abortion the life of the pain-capable child. Idaho’s Senate, led by Senator Chuck Winder, passed this historic bill by the impressive vote of 24-10. The House, led by Rep. Brent Crane and Rep. Lynn Luker passed it by the overwhelming vote of 54-14.

“Solid medical research substantiates the fact that unborn children recoil from painful stimuli, experience increased stress hormones when subjected to pain, and require anesthesia when undergoing fetal surgery,”said Mary Spaulding Balch, J.D., director of state legislation for the National Right to Life Committee (NRLC). “We commend Idaho for joining Nebraska and Kansas in recognizing their compelling interest in protecting from abortion the unborn child who is capable of feeling pain.”

As drafted by National Right to Life’s state legislation department, the model Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act protects from abortion unborn children who are capable of feeling pain 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:

Continuing the trend among the states in passing pro-life legislation, further action during the state legislative session on the model Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act is expected in Alabama, Minnesota and Oklahoma, among others.

“Over the past several years, we have seen an increasing number of state legislatures concerned with protecting the lives of unborn children and their mothers,” added Spaulding Balch.  “We are encouraged to see the trend continuing this year with passage of laws like the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act.”

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.