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Pro-Life Members of Congress eloquently explain why they voted for the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act

by | May 20, 2015

By Dave Andrusko

Rep. Mia Love

Rep. Mia Love

On the day the House passed the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, 242-184, we included in our coverage the powerful statements in support of HR 36 by House Majority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) and Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ) . You can re-read them at and, respectively.

Since then, I’ve had the chance to read all the pro-life and pro-abortion statements made May 13. As you would expect, the anti-life forces were in full hysteria mode.

What follows are excerpts from only some of the pro-life congressmen and congresswomen. Others will be posted periodically.

Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-Va):

Since the Supreme Court’s decision in Roe v. Wade, medical knowledge regarding the development of unborn babies and their capacities at various stages of growth has advanced dramatically.

To give you a sense of how much technology has advanced, here is the issue of The New York Times announcing the Roe v. Wade decision in 1973. It contains ads for the latest in advanced technology, including a computer the size of a file cabinet you could rent for $3,000 a month that only had one-thousandths the memory of a modern cell phone and a basic AM radio that was as big as your hand.

Thirty-five years later, in the age of ultrasound pictures, the same newspaper would report on the latest advanced research on the pain experienced by unborn children, focusing on the research of Dr. Sunny Anand, an Oxford-trained neonatal pediatrician who held an appointment at Harvard Medical School.

As Dr. Anand has testified regarding abortions: ‘‘If the fetus is beyond 20 weeks of gestation, I would assume that there will be pain caused to the fetus, and I believe it will be severe and excruciating pain.’’

A few years later, the terrifying facts uncovered in the grand jury report regarding the prosecution of late-term abortionist Kermit Gosnell would contain references to a neonatal expert who said the cutting of babies’ spinal cords intended to be late-term aborted would cause them ‘‘a tremendous amount of pain.’’

Congress has the power and the responsibility to acknowledge these developments in our understanding of the ability of unborn children to feel pain by prohibiting abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy, postfertilization, the point at which scientific evidence shows the unborn can experience great suffering.

The bill before us would do just that.

Rep. Steve Scalise (R-La.)

I am proud to come from Louisiana, which has the distinction of being the most pro-life State in the Nation. Our State already bans this procedure, as do many.

It is not just States we are talking about. Most nations in the world don’t allow this procedure after 20 weeks. The United States will finally be joining the vast majority of other countries around the world and the vast majority of Americans who understand that it is not right to have abortions after 20 weeks.

This is an important bill. I think it is a very strong message that we are going to be sending in defense of life by passing it. I urge my colleagues to support it as well.

Rep. Mia Love (R-Utah)

Madam Speaker, I was not planning on speaking today. I didn’t put my name on the list to speak today. I was actually sitting in my office, listening to the debate about this bill, and I started thinking of my three children. I started thinking about the decisions that we have to make in order to protect them, and I am disappointed that there is even opposition to this piece of legislation.

I want you to know that we, as adults, have a voice. We are able to speak. We are able to speak in opposition to things, but we have children who do not have a voice. Those babies whom we know can feel pain do not have a voice.

Now, I want everyone who is watching today—because I am not trying to convince my colleagues—to think of their children, to think of their nieces, their nephews, their grandchildren— the ones that they love. Would they inflict this kind of pain to keep them from coming into the world?

We have a moral obligation in this country to protect life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. It is time that we do our job—life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

Rep. Trent Franks (R-Az.)

Madam Speaker, it just seems that we are never quite so eloquent as when we decry the crimes of a past generation, but we often become so staggeringly blind when it comes to facing and rejecting the worst of atrocities in our own time.

Thankfully, Madam Speaker, I believe the winds of change are now beginning to blow and that this tide of blindness and blood is finally turning in America because today—today—we are poised to pass the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act in this Chamber.

And no matter how it is shouted down or what distortions or deceptive what-ifs, distractions, diversions, gotchas, twisting of the words, changing of subject, or blatant falsehoods the abortion industry hurls at this bill and its supporters, it remains that this bill is a deeply sincere effort, beginning at the sixth month, at their sixth month of pregnancy, to protect both mothers and their pain-capable unborn babies from the atrocity of late-term abortion on demand. Ultimately, it is one that all humane

Americans can support if they truly understand it for themselves.

Madam Speaker, this is a vote all of us will remember the rest of our lives.

It will be considered in the annals of history and, I believe, in the counsels of eternity, itself.

Rep. Jeff Fortenberry (R-Neb.)

Madam Speaker, there is a rule in the House of Representatives that any little child who is a guest of ours can come right down here and be in the well with us. Now let’s assume for a moment that one of those children tripped and fell and hurt themselves and cried out in pain. There is not a Member of this body that wouldn’t rush to their side and comfort them.

And that is what this bill does today. It rushes to the side of children who are feeling the pain of violence of abortion. Let’s stand with them. Let’s stand with women who deserve better than the aggressive tactics of the abortion industry and their profit seeking and marketing. Let’s rebuild our Nation’s compassion capacity so that we can understand what is right and just by protecting the little ones who are most vulnerable. Let’s do something good for America today.

Rep. Andy Harris (R-Md.)

I practiced OB anesthesia for over 20 years. I was always amazed that, in the labor and delivery suite, we would deliver 21-week postfertilization babies and that, down the corridor, they would abort them. This bill says that, if that baby being aborted is born alive, someone is going to actually resuscitate that baby. That is what we need, Madam Speaker. That is why I support H.R. 36.

Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-Wa.)

As a mother of three and a legislator, I have always believed that every life has value, every life deserves the opportunity to reach its full potential.

We live in an extraordinary time in which we are not bound by the conditions of our birth. We are not sentenced by our circumstance. And we should not be defined by what limits us but empowered by what we can become. As lawmakers, it is our responsibility to ensure that our laws reflect that.

Medical science continues to evolve to create greater potential for life.

Emerging research is challenging what we thought to be true of the earliest stages of human life. Just last week, The New York Times highlighted a study that showed a growing number of premature infants surviving after the point at which this bill would make abortion illegal.

As a society, we need to ask whether we want to move forward with a better standard of living or if we want to rely on the outdated scientific research of the past. I want to legislate for the future, and the future will be defined by how we use the advancements taking place today to protect and improve human life.

Those who represent the future are already there. There was a recent poll that 57 percent of millennials support this legislation, and they echo the voice of America. Sixty percent of Americans—Democrats, Republicans, Independents—support the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act. …

This bill asks us to consider whether we, as a society, will tolerate abortion at any point of development, even though we know babies can feel pain at20 weeks and survive outside the womb.

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Categories: Legislation