NRL News

House to consider Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act next week

by | May 8, 2015

By Dave Andrusko

UnbornPain3  What a terrific way to end the week. This morning the Republican Leadership of  the United States House of Representative announced that next week the House will consider H.R. 36, the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act.

The foundation of the bill is model legislation developed by National Right to Life in 2010, enacted thus far in 11 states: Nebraska, Kansas, Idaho, Oklahoma, Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, Arkansas, North Dakota, Texas, and West Virginia.

H.R. 36 would, like the state bills, generally extend legal protect to unborn humans beginning at 20 weeks fetal age, based on congressional findings that by that point (and even earlier) the unborn child has the capacity to experience great pain during an abortion.

National Right to Life sent out a statement today which congratulated the Republican leadership for what NRLC President Carol Tobias correctly described as “a strong bill that can save thousands of babies from painful deaths annually” [].

Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ), co-chair of the bi-partisan House Pro-Life Caucus, pointed out that “The timing could not be more fitting. Next week marks the second anniversary of the conviction of the infamous abortionist Kermit Gosnell.” Gosnell is serving three life sentences for deliberately aborting mature babies alive and then killing them by “snipping” their spinal cord.

Gosnell was also convicted of one count of involuntary manslaughter in the  2009 death of Mrs. Karnamaya Mongar who died from a massive overdose of Demerol administered by Gosnell’s unlicensed, untrained staff.

“There are Kermit Gosnells all over America, inflicting not only violence, cruelty and death on very young children, but excruciating pain as well,” Smith continued. “Some abortionists may have cleaner sheets than Gosnell did and better sterilized equipment and better trained accomplices, but what they do and what Gosnell did for four decades–kill babies and hurt women–is the same.”

There is widespread public support for a bill like H.R. 36.

In a nationwide poll of 1,623 registered voters in November 2014, The Quinnipiac University Poll found that 60% would support a law such as the Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Act prohibiting abortion after 20 weeks, while only 33% opposed such legislation.

A closer examination reveals that women voters split 59%-35% in favor of such a law, while independent voters supported it by 56%-36%. In addition among those ages 18-29, there was 57% support for the legislation, with only 38% opposed.

Even Democrats were split down the middle: 47% opposed such a bill while 46% supported it.

Just 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:

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