NRL News

Senate to debate Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act next week

by | Jan 24, 2018

By Dave Andrusko

As NRL News Today was about to post for the day, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R.-Ky.) announced that the Senate will bring up the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act next week.

“Now Congress has an opportunity to take a step forward. …I’m pleased to have filed cloture on this bill to protect unborn children who are capable of feeling pain. …And I look forward to voting for it early next week,” McConnell said, according to The Hill’s Jordain Carney.

A similar bill passed the House of Representatives last October.

The bill is based on model legislation developed by National Right to Life in 2010, and enacted thus far in 16 states.

“This bill would save thousands of unborn babies annually from terribly painful deaths,” said Carol Tobias, president of National Right to Life, when it passed the House, 237-189 . “It is now clear that the overwhelming majority of House Democrats believe that painfully dismembering babies, in the sixth month and later, is just fine – now let them try to explain that to their constituents.”

The Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act has been among the right-to-life movement’s top congressional priorities for the 115th Congress. Like the state bills, the proposed federal law would generally extend legal protection 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.

Jennifer Popik, J.D., legislative director for National Right to Life, added,

“These are very developed babies – these babies are capable of feeling pain and are considered by the medical profession to be a second patient. This legislation has saved lives, driving out abortionists from states performing abortions on these babies. And this legislation has the power to speak to the people of this country, highlighting, that where this bill is not law, it is legal to kill these very developed unborn children. “

National Right to Life’s “Key Points on the Federal Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act (H.R. 36)” is available at:

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 56%-36%.

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:

Categories: Legislation