NRL News

H.R. 3803 and the unstoppable march of the truth

by | Jul 19, 2012

By Dave Andrusko

Thought experiment: what if you had once said something like this. “Remember how year after year, civil rights legislation went nowhere in Congress in the 1950s and 60s? However,  eventually, after many years of faithful efforts, one piece after another finally passed one house, usually stalling in the Senate, and then finally both houses and then signed into law?”

In the midst of that lengthy process, someone who was hostile could easily have said, “Bills with absolutely no chance of becoming law, introduced only to express ideology… are rampant.”

If you were sympathetic to civil rights legislation, you would likely have said something like, “This is a process of education, of bringing home again and again the truth of the common humanity of Black Americans who deserve the equal protection of law. It’s important to know which of our elected officials believes that to be true, and which don’t. I believe that eventually truth will win out because we are appealing to the better angels of our nature.”

The first quote—“Bills with absolutely no chance of becoming law, introduced only to express ideology… are rampant”–can be found today in the middle of a short blog entry on the webpage of the New York Times.

The author, Juliet Lapidos, was ridiculing the District of Columbia Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act (H.R. 3803). As you know, the House Judiciary Committee passed the measure yesterday. H.R. 3803 would make abortion impermissible in the federal District after 22 weeks of pregnancy (22 weeks LMP,  which is equivalent to 20 weeks fetal age), unless necessary to prevent the death of the mother.

Think about what comes next from Lapidos for a moment: “It will advance to the full House for a vote, but will never pass the Democratic-controlled Senate.”

She seems to assume that Senate’s Democrat majority will stand united in defense of the current District policy, under which abortion is legal for any reason until the moment of birth.  Maybe it will be so — but similar predictions were not fulfilled back in the 1990s, when usually-pro-abortion senators had to actually vote on whether to allow partial-birth abortions. 

Does that make passing H.R. 3803 nothing more than “ideology”? Let’s try a second thought experiment.

If a discussion is allowed in the Senate, what could the electorate—not to mention the Senate—learn? That there is no, repeat, no law on abortion in the nation’s capital!

Those who want to re-direct attention away from what follows from that—the cold-hearted truth that abortion is completely legal for any reason until the moment of birth—have a ton of equally fallacious options. But  none of them alters the truth that babies can and are torn apart early in pregnancy, in the middle of pregnancy, and at the end of pregnancy.

They’d also learn that when truth is exposed—that it is open season on ALL unborn babies in Washington, D.C.– American adults say they would be more likely to vote for lawmakers who support a bill like H.R. 3803 by a more than 2-to-1 margin (58% to 27%).

Lawmakers would learn that opposition to this barbarism is not limited to what is taking place in Washington, DC. In response to a separate poll question asked by The Polling Company, Inc./WomanTrend, respondents favored, by a 3-to-1 margin (63-21%), a policy of not permitting abortion anywhere “after the point where substantial medical evidence says that the unborn child can feel pain,” unless it is “necessary to save a mother’s life.”

None of this, of course, found its way into Ms.Lapidos’s mocking blog item. What did makes its way in is the tiresome charge that 20 weeks fetal age is “arbitrary,” because (she writes) ACOG says it “knows of no legitimate scientific information” supporting that claim that a baby can feel pain at this juncture.

We would encourage Ms. Lapidos to take some time to do two things. First read just some of the documentation that unborn babies at this stage—if not earlier!—can feel pain (

Second—if she has the courage of her convictions—we would ask her to go to There she will see a medical illustration of  the abortion method most often used at this stage, the “D&E.”

My guess is that she will do neither. Why bother with the grisly truth when you can rant about “ideology” and bills introduced “with absolutely no chance of becoming law”?

Categories: Legislation