National pain-capable abortion ban introduced in Senate


From EWTN News:
Legislation that would prohibit abortion after 20 weeks of pregnancy, at which point science indicates that unborn babies are able to feel pain, has been presented in the U.S. Senate.

“At twenty weeks, mothers are encouraged to speak and sing as the baby can recognize the voice of the mother,” said Senator Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), who introduced the bill at a Nov. 7 press conference.

“The question for the American people is, ‘Should we be silent when it comes to protecting these unborn children entering the sixth month of pregnancy? Or is it incumbent on us to speak up and act on their behalf?’ I say we must speak up and act.”
This is nothing but cynical positioning by Graham. He is up for re-election in 2014 and so he needs to start pretending that he is a conservative, particularly considering that there is a viable primary challenger (Lee Bright) this time.

Graham knows without a doubt that the bill will never see the light of day in committee, much less be placed on the floor calendar in the Senate. But he wants the campaign ad.

Time to start putting lipstick on the pig.

(As for the bill, itself, fine, great…but since it was introduced into the Senate with Reid being the majority leader, there is no chance that it will go anywhere…and everybody knows it…so why bother?)


The National Right to Life Committee tells LifeNews it is calling on Reid to bring the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act to the Senate floor for a vote.

“It is time for the Senate to take action on the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, and we urge Senator Reid to heed the will of the people and allow the bill to come before the Senate for a vote,” said Carol Tobias, president of National Right to Life. “One-fifth of the states, nearly two-thirds of Americans, including two-thirds of American women, and the U.S. House of Representatives agree. Now it’s time for the U.S. Senate to do its job and act to protect these most vulnerable members of our human family.”

“Not since Congress voted to ban the brutal partial-birth abortion method has a more important piece of pro-life legislation come before Congress,” added Susan T. Muskett, J.D., National Right to Life senior legislative counsel. “Lives hang in the balance. Congress cannot sit idly by to condone these violent acts; it’s time to take a stand for the protection of these pain-capable unborn children.”

The Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act is based on a National Right to Life model bill that has already been enacted in ten states. The U.S. House of Representatives approved the federal bill June 18, 2013, 228-196.

NRLC estimates that at least 140 abortion providers offer abortions past the point that this legislation would permit. These late abortions are performed using a variety of techniques, including a method in which the unborn child’s arms and legs are twisted off by brute manual force, using a long stainless steel clamping tool.

Maureen Ferguson of The Catholic Association is also calling on Reid to allow a vote on the pro-life bill.

“Americans, including women, overwhelmingly support limits on late-term abortion. We call on the Senate leadership to allow a vote on this bill to protect the most basic human rights of these children,” she said.

“Every year in this country at least 15,000 babies are subjected to legal abortion past 20 weeks. The vast majority of these are purely elective, as abortion doctors themselves have admitted. The last time Congress considered the issue of late-term abortion Ron Fitzimmons, then Executive Director of the National Coalition of Abortion Providers confessed that he “lied through his teeth” when he claimed that the majority of late abortions involve health complications for the mother or baby. Some in the abortion lobby, however, continue to promote this myth despite evidence to the contrary,” she continued.

“These babies can hear our voices, but they don’t yet have a voice of their own. They need us to speak up for them, and they need legal protection,” she said.

Very few countries have abortion laws as permissive as America regarding the legality of abortion after 20 weeks

Source: Phillip B. Levine, Sex and Consequences: Abortion, Public Policy, and the Economics of Fertility (Princeton University Press, 2007), 135-139.

20 week ban is actually pending in the House of Representatives.


I agree. It definitely would have had more chance of passage had it been done anytime between 2001 and 2006. (They could have even changed the rules of filibuster to do it.)

I have these emails from Rand Paul explaining that the 1973 Roe vs Wade ruling left it up to Congress to determine “viability.” So where had they been all this time? Ah, politics.


I wish it had been done between 2001 and 2006 and then we’d have abortion much more restricted. I don’t think its hardly restricted at all at the federal level but thanks be to God the states have restrictions. I would like to see abortion completely banned some day.


Talk about a “damned if you do and damned if you don’t” position. On the one hand Republicans are excoriated for not ending abortion and on the other they are condemned for proposing bills that have little chance of overcoming Democrat opposition. Why bother indeed.



I have no problems with the bill itself (though, as I said, it seems rather futile to introduce such an effort in a pro-abort Senate…it seems like it would be better introduced as an amendment to a must-pass bill…and that amendment to originate in the GOP-controlled House).

I have a problem with Mr. Graham’s sextennial effort to rebrand himself.

ON EDIT: It’s like Jose Serrano with his (virtually) annualRepeal the 22d Amendment Bill”. (nb: each word has a different repeal bill linked to it). It means nothing because it stands no chance of passage.


As for the bill, itself, fine, great…but since it was introduced into the Senate with Reid being the majority leader, there is no chance that it will go anywhere…and everybody knows it…so why bother?)

If the senate had a supermajority of people like Graham, the bill could pass. However, given the stance of people like Reid, the bill has little chance of passing. Therefore, an appropriate response would be to take some action that would ensure Reid is no longer the majority leader (such as voting out certain senators), rather than criticizing Graham for introducing this bill.


Makes sense. Wish they had done this instead of trying to defund Obamacare for keeping the government open. Easy to say in hindsight, though.


Except Reid is anti-abortion. It’s the fact that pro-abortion Senators make up a majority of the caucus. There are 5 pro-life Democrats, but 48 pro-abortion Democratic senators + 2 pro-abortion Independents + a handful of pro-abortion Republican senators still makes a majority. Reid might bring it up, but it would assuredly fail (not to mention be filibustered first, and be like 15 votes short of breaking it).


The other issue is the occupant of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. If just replacing leadership in the Senate is the goal, then you still have to figure out how to override a veto (which, given the pro-abortion standing of the current occupant, is a guarantee even if the bill was to pass).

See below…

Attaching the bill as an amendment to a must-pass bill can apply to any bill. Something that Obama absolutely must sign. I don’t see the shutdown and this as relating one to another (there are plenty of “must sign” bills out there). The next likely target is some variety of immigration reform. Obama will not not sign immigration reform. Attaching a life bill to that would be poetic.But it won’t happen.


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