NRL News

House to vote on Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act next Tuesday, Majority Leader McCarthy announces

by | Sep 26, 2017

By Dave Andrusko

Shortly after a morning press conference held by House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) at which NRLC Legislative Director Jennifer Popik spoke, McCarthy announced the House will vote on H.R. 36, the Pain- Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, on Tuesday, October 3rd. .

The text of H.R. 36 is identical to the bill that passed the House 242-184 in the 114th Congress. In addition to passing the House, the bill obtained majority support in the Senate in 2015, but was derailed since 60 votes were required.

Sponsored by Rep. Trent Franks, the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act would prohibit abortions on unborn babies 20 weeks or older, based on congressional findings that by that point (and even earlier) the unborn child has the capacity to experience great pain during an abortion.

The bill was developed from model legislation developed by National Right to Life in 2010, enacted thus far in 16 states– Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Idaho, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, West Virginia, and Wisconsin.

The Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act is one of the top pro-life congressional priorities for the 115th Congress.

Among his commitments to pro-lifers, President Donald Trump has promised to sign the National Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act.

There is strong public support. 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.

Women voters split 59-35% in support of such a law, while independent voters supported it by 56-36%. Even 46% of Democrats supported such a law as did all age groups, including 57% of those 18-29.

House Majority Leader McCarthy’s statement read

“Next week, I’m bringing legislation to the House floor that will respect the sanctity of life and stop needless suffering. The Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Act will protect the voiceless, the vulnerable, and the marginalized. It will protect those children who science has proven can feel pain, and give them a chance to grow and live full and happy lives. We have an obligation to speak and defend for those who can’t speak for themselves. I welcome every member of the House and the Senate to unite together and say that when children can feel pain, when you can see their noses and ears, when you can hear their heartbeats and feel their movement—at the very least we can all agree these children should be protected.”