Congress Introduced Abortion Ban On Day One
Showing their lack of seriousness about a practical agenda, Congress got right down to business its first day in session by trying to ban abortion.
[su_thin_right_skyscraper_ad]On Tuesday, the very first day of the 114th Congress, two lawmakers introduced a measure to ban abortions after 20 weeks, in direct violation of the protections afforded under Roe v. Wade. Reps. Trent Franks (R-AZ) and Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) reintroduced the Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, the same legislation that successfullypassed the House last year.
Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) — who introduced a companion 20-week abortion ban in the Senate last year that was stalled by Democratic leadership — has already indicated that he plans to re-introduce his own measure in the next few weeks, too. Now that the Senate is GOP-controlled, Republicans are anticipating that they’ll have enough supportto pass the ban in both chambers this year, helping the anti-choice community gain momentum for this particular tactic to limit reproductive rights.
“In a Republican Senate, under my leadership, we would have the kind of real debate on the issues that the American people want,” Mitch McConnell (R-KY) told the audience at the National Right to Life Conference in the fall. “For six years, the president has been isolated from this growing movement. He will be forced to listen to the cause that’s brought us all here this morning.”
These type of abortion bans are often called “fetal pain” measures because they’re based on the notion that fetuses are sentient after 20 weeks of pregnancy, assuming that an abortion procedure after that point would be painful for them. In a statement released on Tuesday, Franks referred to 20-week fetuses as “innocent and defenseless children who can not only feel pain, but who can survive outside of the womb in most cases, and who are torturously killed without even basic anesthesia.”
In fact, doctors agree that fetuses cannot survive outside the womb until about 24 to 28 weeks of pregnancy, which is considered to be the legal point of viability.
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