By Dave Andrusko
Editor’s note. While my family and I are on vacation, we are running some of our favorite NRL News Today stories from the last four months, entries from our “Roe at 40″ series, and an occasional update.
It is Friday afternoon, June 20th, the end of what was for pro-lifers a hugely important week. On Tuesday, the House of Representatives voted 228-196 to pass legislation to provide nationwide protection for unborn children who are capable of feeling pain, beginning at 20 weeks fetal age.
“This legislation reflects the views of the overwhelming majority of both men and women,” said NRLC President Carol Tobias. “The Obama White House, and all but a handful of House Democrats, fought for essentially unlimited abortion in the sixth month or later, despite growing public awareness of the violence perpetrated by late-term abortionists such as Kermit Gosnell and the pain they inflict on unborn babies.”
Tobias said a veto threat issued by the Obama White House was not surprising, “because as a legislator, Barack Obama said he would trust abortionists to take good care of any babies born alive — he would trust the Gosnells, in other words. Obama’s veto threat harkened back to his opposition to the ban on partial-birth abortion, and his attacks on the Supreme Court for upholding the ban on that brutal method of late abortion.”
We wrote a number of posts about the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act , including nrlc.cc/183UKBn; nrlc.cc/183UN07; nrlc.cc/183USAM; and (most comprehensively) nrlc.cc/183UZfK. As time permits, read as many of them as you can.
There has been so much movement so quickly, I’d like to briefly recall just some of what’s happened.
Last year the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act received a majority vote in the House. Its prime sponsor was Rep. Trent Franks (R-Az.) On May 17, Franks, who chairs the U.S. House Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on the Constitution and Civil Justice, issued a press release, announcing his intention to revise the bill (H.R. 1797) in committee to cover the entire nation.
Subsequently, the bill was approved by the full House Judiciary Committee 20-12 and by the House 228-196. I failed to include something that was part of Rep. Franks’ announcement. Mr. Franks wrote
“I know when the subject is related in any way to abortion, the doors of reason and human compassion in our minds and hearts often close, and the humanity of the unborn can no longer be seen. But I pray we can at least come together to agree that we can and should draw the line at the point that these innocent babies can feel the excruciating pain of these brutal procedures.
“The case of Kermit Gosnell shocked the sensibilities of millions of Americans. However, the crushing fact is that abortions on babies just like the ones killed by Kermit Gosnell have been happening hundreds of times per day, every single day, for the past 40 years. Indeed, let us not forget that, had Kermit Gosnell dismembered these babies before they had traveled down the birth canal only moments earlier, he would have, in many places nationwide, been performing an entirely legal procedure. If America truly understands that horrifying reality, hearts and laws will change.
“To this end, I have re-introduced the D.C. Pain Capable Unborn Protection Act, which will now be amended to broaden its coverage so that its provisions will apply nationwide.
“Knowingly subjecting our innocent unborn children to dismemberment in the womb, particularly when they have developed to the point that they can feel excruciating pain every terrible moment leading up to their undeserved deaths, belies everything America was called to be. This is not who we are.”
That is a truly powerful statement whose conclusion can never be stated often enough: “This is not who we are.”
Does anyone not in the employ of Barack Obama and the Abortion Establishment really believe the American people accept that it’s okay to tear apart unborn babies developed enough to experience pain—“excruciating pain”? That were they educated to what happens to these innocent children when they are at the mercy of the Kermit Gosnells and the LeRoy Carharts of this world would say, “Oh, sure, that’s fine”?
As determined as most of the mainstream media were to pretend Kermit Gosnell didn’t exist—or, if he did, that he was an anomaly—his conviction on three counts of first degree murder and one count of involuntary manslaughter cannot be swept under the rug. Nor, over time, will the nonsensical pro-abortion response that the blame for something one of theirs did can be foisted on pro-lifers endure.
Passage in the House of Representatives was Step One. When you come to the National Right to Life Convention next week in Dallas, please be sure to attend the two workshops Friday afternoon on the man who operated what Philadelphia District Attorney Seth Williams correctly labeled a “House of Horrors.”
I’ll be leading one of those workshops. Hope to see you.
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