Editor’s note. The following statement is from Carol Tobias, president of the National Right to Life Committee, delivered at a press conference this morning where Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) announced he would introduce the landmark legislation that would provide nationwide protection for unborn children who are capable of feeling pain, beginning at 20 weeks fetal age (equivalent to “22 weeks of pregnancy,” the beginning of the sixth month).We thank Senator Graham for his leadership in introducing the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act and eagerly lend our support to this landmark legislation.
A nationwide poll conducted in March by The Polling Company found that an overwhelming majority of Americans, 64%, would support a law such as the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act; only 30% opposed such legislation. Women voters split 63%-31% in support of such a law, and among independents it enjoyed 63% support. This legislation reflects the views of the overwhelming majority of both men and women.
When the Supreme Court handed down Roe v. Wade in 1973, our understanding of pain, and the development of the unborn child, was so primitive that even a newborn undergoing surgery did not receive anesthesia – only a paralytic to keep them still. Today, pain-capable unborn children are treated as patients, being operated on in-utero.
Despite substantial medical evidence that unborn children are capable of experiencing pain by at least 20 weeks post-fertilization, late abortions are still a regular occurrence in the United States. Abortions performed at this stage of pregnancy use 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.
Through the Gosnell case, and subsequent revelations about other abortionists in Texas, Maryland and beyond, Americans are becoming aware that abortions are frequently performed late in pregnancy, on babies who are capable of being born alive, and on babies who will experience great pain while being killed.
Not unexpectedly, pro-abortion organizations are raising the battle flag. EMILY’s List, which supports only the most radical of pro-abortion Democratic women candidates, sent out an email this week saying, “… Republican Senator Lindsay (sic) Graham and his anti-woman GOP buddies are gearing up to introduce a bill that would prevent abortions after just 20 weeks.” “Just 20 weeks” ?? Do any of these people know how big and how developed a “just 20 weeks” baby is? Marjorie and I, and the other women here, are here today to lend our support to Senator Graham’s efforts which are certainly not anti-woman. We are real women, protecting big, very well-developed babies– half of whom are women.
In a country divided by politics, it’s unusual that almost two-thirds of the American public agree on something, like they do this legislation. Thank you, Senator Graham, for your leadership in introducing this legislation. We call on Majority Leader Harry Reid to bring the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act to the floor for a vote.