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The Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act is the new front in protecting the rights of the unborn,” says Sen. Graham, “I’m very proud to be leading this charge”

by | Nov 7, 2013

By Dave Andrusko

Sen. Lindsey Graham

Sen. Lindsey Graham

And so it begins….officially. Today pro-life Senator Lindsey Graham introduced the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act in the United States Senate, a companion measure to the bill that passed overwhelmingly in the House last June, 228 to 196. (See “National Right to Life to Harry Reid: ‘Let the Senate vote on bill to protect unborn babies who feel pain.’”)

Planned Parenthood and NARAL wasted no time blasting the bill, with NARAL dismissing legislation to protect pain-capable unborn babies from abortion as “interference” from “politicians with an ideological agenda.”

What their Action Alerts did not say—because it isn’t true—is that public opinion is on their side.

Leaders of National Right to Life joined Senator Graham (R-S.C.) at this morning’s press conference.

“We thank Senator Graham for his leadership in introducing the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act and eagerly lend our support to this landmark legislation,” said Carol Tobias, president of National Right to Life.

For his part, Sen. Graham said,

“At twenty weeks, mothers are encouraged to speak and sing as the baby can recognize the voice of the mother. The question for the American people is, ‘Should we be silent when it comes to protecting these unborn children entering the sixth month of pregnancy? Or is it incumbent on us to speak up and act on their behalf? I say we must speak up and act.”

He also addressed how science and technology “have advanced tremendously since 1973.” Said Graham

“We now know that an unborn child at the twentieth week of pregnancy can feel pain. In fact, anesthesia is administered directly to unborn children in second trimester fetal surgery. Given these facts and my continued strong support for life, I believe there is a compelling interest in protecting these unborn children who are among the most vulnerable in our society. I’m confident that over time the American people and their elected representatives will say yes as well. The Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Act is the new front in protecting the rights of the unborn. I’m very proud to be leading this charge.”

The Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act would allow abortion after 20 weeks post-fertilization if the mother’s life is endangered, or in cases of rape and incest reported prior to the abortion to appropriate authorities.

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 National Right to Life website at and also at

Public opinion is squarely in favor of legislation like this. In July we wrote about a favorable Washington Post/ABC News poll that nevertheless under-reported the extent of the support.

The lead in the Post story accompanying the poll read, “By a margin of 56 to 27 percent, more Americans say they’d prefer to impose limits on abortions after the first 20 weeks of pregnancy rather than the 24-week mark established under current law, according to a new Washington Post-ABC News poll.” [For the moment, never mind that abortion is legal past the first 24 weeks.]

And if you include those who say abortion should never be legal (8% in this poll) and those who would want the ban earlier (“fewer weeks”—2%), a total of 66% support the ban (56% + 8% + 2%).

Note also the percentage of those who responded they would want the ban later than 24 weeks—0%!

Sen. Graham told National Review Online, “The goal is to have a vote in 2014, to make sure we vote on it. He added, “It’s worth having this debate. The more people understand what we’re trying to do, the more public support will grow over time.”

Susan T. Muskett, J.D., National Right to Life senior legislative counsel, said, “Lives hang in the balance. Congress cannot sit idly by to condone these violent acts; it’s time to take a stand for the protection of these pain-capable unborn children.” She added, “Not since Congress voted to ban the brutal partial-birth abortion method has a more important piece of pro-life legislation come before Congress.”

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