NRL News

U.S. House to vote Tuesday, July 31 to curb policy of legal abortion until birth in the nation’s capital!

by | Jul 30, 2012




Dear Pro-life Friends,

WASHINGTON (July 27, 2012). We are making progress — but we have to fight every step of the way!

As I told you in an Action Alert eight days ago, the pro-abortion forces have been working furiously to block a major bill, originated by National Right to Life, from coming to the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives. Since then, your voices have been heard! On Tuesday, July 31, the U.S. House of Representatives will vote on legislation that would end the current legal policy in our nation’s capital of allowing abortion, for any reason, until the moment of birth!

The legislation is the District of Columbia Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act (H.R. 3803).

The Council of the District of Columbia, employing authority delegated by Congress, repealed the entire D.C. abortion law. Thus, in the nation’s capital, abortion is currently legal for any reason through all nine months of pregnancy. An abortion facility not far from the White House now advertises dismemberment (“D&E”) abortions on request, to 26 weeks of pregnancy — the beginning of the 7th month! There is nothing to stop abortionists from performing abortions even closer to birth — for a price.

H.R. 3803, sponsored by Congressman Trent Franks (R-Az.), was approved by the House Judiciary Committee just last week, and is being brought to the House floor on a fast-track procedure. In the bill, Congress adopts findings that by 20 weeks after fertilization (if not earlier), the unborn child has the capacity to experience great pain. The bill then prohibits abortion in the federal District after that point (the beginning of the sixth month), except when an acute physical condition endangers the life of the mother.

Now, every member of the U.S. House of Representatives will have to go on record on whether abortion should be legal for any reason to the moment of birth.

“This is a historic vote — the U.S. House of Representatives has never before voted on a bill to prohibit the abortion of pain-capable unborn children, and has never before voted on whether to endorse a policy of legal abortion for any reason until the moment of birth,” Douglas Johnson, National Right to Life’s veteran legislative director, told me today. “Under the Constitution, members of Congress and the president are ultimately accountable for the current abortion-until-birth policy in the District. Any lawmaker who votes against this bill is voting to ratify the current District policy of allowing abortion for any reason for all nine months of pregnancy.”

Mr. Johnson also said, “If we can achieve a big majority on this groundbreaking initial vote, it will set the foundation to win legal protection for pain-capable unborn children in the not-distant future.”


As you would expect, pro-abortion groups are moving aggressively to oppose the bill — a bill that pro-abortion Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton (D) said “has the potential to eviscerate the entire Roe framework,” referring to the 1973 U.S. Supreme Court decision that legalized abortion nationwide.

Now, I am asking you to contact your representative in the U.S. House to urge that he or she be sure to be present in Washington on July 31, and to vote in favor of H.R. 3803, the District of Columbia Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, often referred to as the “D.C. late abortion ban” for short. Please contact your representative’s office even if you have already contacted them in the past on behalf of this legislation.

Here are three specific things that you can do, in minutes, to help us take another step towards ending the horrendous abortion situation in our country’s capital:

1. Telephone the office of your representative in the U.S. House — urge him or her to be sure to be present when the vote is taken on July 31, and to vote in favor of H.R. 3803. For your guidance, click on this link, which will take you straight to an NRLC Call Alert. Enter your zip code, and you will see the name of your representative, the proper number to call, and short “talking points” to make about the bill to the representative’s staff person. It is easy to do, takes just a few minutes, and will have a real impact. If you want, you can take an additional minute to use a short form to send NRLC a brief email report about what your representative’s staff person had to say. If the link doesn’t work for you, just use your web browser to go to

2. Forward this alert to like-minded friends and family members. Tell them that in Washington, D.C., their nation’s capital, abortion is currently perfectly legal for any reason until the moment of birth — and babies are being brutally dismembered far past the point that they are capable of experiencing excruciating pain. Congress and the president need to stop this brutality by enacting the District of Columbia Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, H.R. 3803, which would ban abortion after 20 weeks fetal age, unless the mother’s life is in danger. For much more information on this issue, click here.

3. Use the “Donate Now” button below to support NRLC’s intense efforts on behalf of this legislation, which have been highlighted in recent media reports. NRLC is being badly outspent by well-funded pro-abortion advocacy organizations. To counter their efforts, we need the support of pro-life Americans like you.

Again — we are making progress, but we must overcome stiff resistance every step of the way. Please help us, and please urge others to do the same.

Thank you!

Yours for life,

Carol Tobias
National Right to Life President

Categories: Legislation