NRL News

Idaho House Passes Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, Governor Says He will sign it

by | Apr 5, 2011

By Dave Andrusko

Mary Spaulding Balch, JD

In the ebb and flow of state legislation, mostly good news, some bad news over the past 24 hours, and one terrific piece of news.

Moments before this blog was about to be posted, the Idaho House passed the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, 54-14. The measure had already passed the Senate on March 23.

It now goes to Gov. C.L. “Butch” Otter who has said he would sign it.

When the proposed passed the Senate, the contrasting perspectives were clearly on display.

Elizabeth Nash, who tracks abortion policies for the pro-abortion Guttmacher Institute, said, “Women around the country need to wake up and pay attention to what’s happening in state legislatures.”

By contrast, “We want to use legislation in as many ways as possible to talk about the humanity of the unborn child,” said Mary Spaulding Balch, director of state legislation for National Right to Life.

In Alabama, legislation (SB308) has been introduced to make sure women have an opportunity to see her unborn baby before undergoing an abortion. Ultrasounds laws have been introduced in {x} states this legislative session. They must be effective, because pro-abortionists are opposing them with renewed vigor.

And Alabama’s Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, modeled on Nebraska’s first of its kind legislation, was advanced out of the Rules Committee today with a vote scheduled for Thursday. The purpose of such laws, says Balch,”is to assert a state’s compelling state interest in protecting the lives of unborn children from the stage (20 weeks fertilization) at which substantial medical evidence indicates that they are capable of feeling pain.” At that point, Balch says, “it would be unlawful to kill the unborn child by abortion.”

Meanwhile, according to the Associated Press, Gov. Brian Schweitzer yesterday vetoed Senate Bill 176, citing “Montana’s constitutional guarantee of a right to privacy and access to reproductive health care.” Described as “opt-out” laws, they would prevent the insurance policies that are going to be sold through health insurance “exchanges” established by ObamaCare from offering abortion coverage. An override would require a two-thirds vote in both houses, which would be tougher in the Senate, based on the vote to approve the measure which took place in February.

For a rundown of legislation through last Friday, go to

I would appreciate your feedback on National Right to Life News Today. Please send your comments to If you like, join those who are following me on Twitter at