Communications Department

Wisconsin Becomes 12th State to Pass Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act

Jul 10, 2015 | 2015 Press Releases

For immediate release: Friday, July 10, 2015
For more information: Tatiana Bergum, NRLC 2015 Press Office  (202) 642-1675 or

NEW ORLEANS, La. – Yesterday, the Wisconsin State Assembly gave final approval to the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act – a bill that protects unborn children from abortions after 20 weeks fetal age, a point by which there is compelling evidence that unborn children are capable of feeling pain. The bill now goes to pro-life Governor Scott Walker, who has previously pledged to sign this life-affirming bill. If signed, Wisconsin would be the twelfth state to enact this legislation, which is based on a model bill developed by National Right to Life.

“Wisconsin now joins eleven other states in recognizing the humanity of the unborn child,”said Mary Spaulding Balch, J.D., National Right to Life director of state legislation. “The smallest and most vulnerable members of our human family need our protection, and Wisconsin has taken a vital step to save unborn child who are capable of feeling the excruciating pain of abortions.”

The Wisconsin Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act will protect the lives of pain-capable unborn children from being killed by abortion. If it becomes law, the bill would protect unborn children from 20 weeks fetal age (22 “weeks of pregnancy”), based on legislative findings that there is compelling evidence that an unborn child by that point (if not earlier) is capable of experiencing excruciating pain during the process of dismemberment or other abortion procedures.

In May, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a national version of the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act (H.R. 36), which has also been introduced in the U.S. Senate (S. 1553).

In a nationwide poll of 1,000 American adults conducted in July 2012, The Polling Company asked, “Unless an abortion is necessary to save a mother’s life, do you think abortion should be permitted after the point where substantial medical evidence says that the unborn child can feel pain?” A majority, 63%, responded “no, abortion should not be permitted,” compared to just 21% who would allow abortion after the point at which the unborn child is capable of feeling pain.

“Pain-capable unborn children should be protected from the violent act of a dismemberment abortion, or whatever twisted method the abortion industry has cooked up this week,” Balch added. “In our upside-down society, most animals have more rights than unborn members of the human family. We are thankful the Wisconsin legislature has recognized their solemn duty in protecting the lives of the most vulnerable.”

Some of the extensive evidence that unborn children have the capacity to experience pain, at least by 20 weeks fetal age, is available on the NRLC website at and also here:

Founded in 1968, the National Right to Life Committee (NRLC), the federation of 50 state right-to-life affiliates and more than 3,000 local chapters, is the nation’s oldest and largest grassroots pro-life organization. Recognized as the flagship of the pro-life movement, NRLC works through legislation and education to protect innocent human life from abortion, infanticide, assisted suicide and euthanasia.