Congress to Hear Bill Banning Abortions at 20 Weeks in DC
A U.S. House committee will hold a hearing next week on new legislation that would ban abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy in the District of Columbia based on scientific evidence showing unborn children feel pain.
Arizona Republican Congressman Trent Franks introduced the District of Columbia Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act in the U.S. House of Representatives.
He told The Hill today that the Judiciary Subcommitee on the Constitution, which he is the chairman of, will hear testimony May 17 on the legislation.
“It is a very strong priority in the pro-life community,” said Franks.
The bill is similar to a first-in-the-nation law the state of Nebraska passed that successfully drove late-term abortion practitioner LeRoy Carhart to move most of his abortion business to Maryland, bans abortions at 22 weeks gestation (20 weeks post-conception) due to the scientific evidence that not only do unborn children feel pain, they feel it more acutely because pain “dampeners” do not fully develop until 40 weeks gestation, and later.
The legislation is strongly supported by the National Right to Life Committee, which says the bill would ban abortion of pain-capable unborn children within the Federal District – the district created by the U.S. Constitution for the specific purpose of serving as the seat of the national government.
“Today, in our nation’s capital, an unborn child can be killed at any point prior to birth, for any reason,” said NRLC Federal Legislative Director Douglas Johnson.
He told LifeNews, “Under the U.S. Constitution, the sole and exclusive legislative authority to protect unborn children within the Federal District resides with the Congress. If abortion remains unrestricted in the nation’s capital, during the sixth, seventh, eighth, and ninth months, it will be because certain members of Congress, or the President, have obstructed this bill. If they do that, then they alone, under the Constitution, are fully accountable for that policy.”
According to Johnson, at least two abortion providers currently are advertising that they provide abortions in the District past the point that the bill would establish protection – one to 24 weeks after fertilization, and the other during the third trimester, at least to seven and one-half months, and perhaps later ...