It’s time to light up the switchboard on Capitol Hill after Senate Majority leader Mitch McConnell announced that the Senate will begin debate on the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protect Act on Monday, with a vote to follow sometime next week.
The Washington Examiner is reporting that the Senate will begin debate on Monday on the bill which bans abortions after 20 weeks. When debate is completed, the Senate will take a vote. If the measure passes, it will go to the President’s desk for signature.
Pro-life forces are gearing up for a fight, however, because the effort could be stalled by a Democratic filibuster. The last time the Senate took up 20-week abortion ban, which occurred in 2015, three Democratic senators joined Republicans to approve it but the motion still failed by a 54-42 vote. Even though some Democrats are expected to support the bill again, it may not be enough to reach the 60-vote threshold.
For Democrats up for re-election, the optics do not bode well.
As five Republican senators pointed out in a letter to McConnell last week, “Twenty states have already passed legislation protecting unborn children beginning at 20 weeks of pregnancy. A vote would make our constituents immediately aware of the members of Congress who support elective late-term abortions and oppose extending legal protections to pain-capable unborn children nationwide.”
Pro-life leaders are aware of this pressure and are using it to rally their supporters.
“Even if your senators are pledging to vote against this common-sense bill, we need to put them on notice that we are watching and we will hold them accountable for voting to continue allowing barbaric late-term abortions,” said Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of the Susan B. Anthony List.
Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), lead sponsor of the bill, told reporters on a press call yesterday that the U.S. should be ashamed to be one of only seven nations, along with China and North Korea, to allow elective abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy.
“In 2018, do we still want to be one of seven nations that allow abortion on demand at 20 weeks?” Mr. Graham said, according to the Washington Times. “It’s a time in the pregnancy when young parents are encouraged to sing to the unborn child because you can recognize the parent’s voice. It’s a time when babies can be saved.”
Sen. Joni Ernst (R-IA) pointed out that the bill contains exceptions for rape, incest and when the life of the mother is at risk, adding that there is “significant scientific evidence” that the unborn can feel pain at five months of development.
This means that an unborn child experiences the full force of the pain inflicted upon it during a typical late-term abortion which involves literally tearing the fetus apart from limb to limb.
“Yet there is no federal law protecting these vulnerable babies from abortion,” Ms. Ernst, who is co-sponsoring the legislation, said on the press call. “As a result, every year in our country, the lives of thousands of such babies end painfully in abortion.”
It is estimated that passage of the bill will prevent anywhere from 10,000 to 18,000 lives per year.
Even though Planned Parenthood claims the bill is “unnecessary” and is designed to “politicize the provision of health care,” the public isn’t buying it.
Polling has found widespread support for the measure with 60 percent of Americans saying they favor limiting abortion to 20 weeks. This includes support from registered Democrats who voted 51 percent in favor of the ban in a 2013 poll.
Currently, 16 states outlaw abortion after 20 weeks.
The House has already passed the bill several times during the last few years but it has yet to make it through the Senate.
Please call your Senator today and ask him or her to vote for the humane treatment of the unborn!
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