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Rep. Smith Votes to Protect the Sanctity of Life
05 October 2017, 12:09 | Todd Saunders
The bill to ban abortion at 20 weeks is based on fake science
The House approved the measure by a near party-line 237-189 vote.
The bill, the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, is offered on the theory that at 20 weeks, unborn children have developed the sensory apparatus necessary to experience the pain associated with the gruesome process of aborting them.
But Franks said this is an important bill. That is why the bill before us today is "Micah's Law".
"Neurologically, the science is pretty incontrovertible", Sara Imershein, an OB-GYN in Washington, D.C., said by phone. "Do they talk about protecting Americans from that type of violence? No". There are nerves, but the connections are incomplete and can't register pain.
Republicans cited scientific research by pro-life organizations saying fetuses are able to feel pain from the 20th week after conception. According to the author, Dr. Kanwaljeet Anand at the University of Tennessee, fetuses are capable of experiencing pain at 20 weeks, and possibly sooner, and that it is an intense feeling of pain.
Democrats rejected that. The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists has said fetuses can not experience pain before at least 24 weeks of development. The validity of this claim has been disputed by medical authorities and abortion providers. The chamber also passed a version of the bill in 2015; but Tuesday's bill, as in 2015, is expected to fail in the Senate. Individuals who do so could face a fine and up to a five-year prison sentence.
There are exceptions for rape, incest or to save the life of the woman, and the bill wouldn't penalize women for seeking abortions after 20 weeks. It is now just one of six nations to permit elective late-term abortion without restriction-the other five are North Korea, China, Vietnam, Canada, and Singapore. She says forcing a woman to carry a terminally ill pregnancy to term is misguided and puts women's physical and mental health at risk. The second-highest rate is less than half of that - 9.2 per every 100,000 women in the United Kingdom.
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Several medical experts said the bill isn't about fetal pain at all.
"The big hurdle for us is going to be in the Senate, where we don't have quite enough of a pro-life majority to reach the 60-vote threshold", said Mallory Quigley, the spokeswoman.
In his own statement, House Majority leader Kevin McCarthy said the new bill "will protect those children who science has proven can feel pain, and give them a chance to grow and live full and happy lives".
If so, the strategy certainly isn't new. But it has gotten to the point when the particulars of this or that abortion legislation hardly matter except on the margins. "But this is all part of, you know, the road to getting there".
"It's likely a tactic to decrease access to abortion without overtly overturning Roe v. Wade". It was also especially fitting that strong pro-life women like Rep. Karen Handel and Rep. Liz Cheney were at the forefront to introduce the bill and lead debate. They write bills using unscientific, inconsistent language to describe gestational age - which means that in practice, some proposed "20-week bans" could apply to pregnancies as early as 18 weeks, and others as late as 22 weeks.
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