“Energized” by Trump victory, New Jersey legislators announce they will seek passage of Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act

By Dave Andrusko

New Jersey state Sen. Steven Oroho

New Jersey state Sen. Steven Oroho

I did not know that back in April, New Jersey state Sens. Steven Oroho (R-Sussex) and Joseph Pennacchio (R-Morris) introduced the “Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act.”

I learned that today when a story in the New Jersey Star-Ledger began

Feeling energized since “pro-life” Donald Trump won the presidential election, a group of Republican lawmakers and anti-abortion rights activists announced Monday they will seek a ban on abortions in New Jersey involving any fetus that is at least 20 weeks old. [The quotation marks are the author’s, Susan K. Livio.]

Livio tells us they held a Statehouse press conference to draw attention to the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act “to build on momentum from Trump’s win.”

The bill is already the law in 14 states– Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Idaho, Kansas, Louisiana, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, West Virginia and Wisconsin.

New Jersey State Sen. Joseph Pennacchio

New Jersey State Sen. Joseph Pennacchio

“Make no mistake, when a legislator gets up or Donald Trump gets up and starts talking about a child have a right to exist and not feel pain, that empowers all of us,” state Sen. Pennacchio said. “We leave this room feeling a little stronger.”

Pediatricians and anesthesiologists also attended the press conference. They noted that perinatal medicine is capable of treating the unborn baby.

“If we recognize that a baby born prematurely at 22 weeks can feel pain, why would that same baby not feel pain in the womb?” said the Rev. Michael Fragoso, a former pediatrician.

Livio ends her story with a very telling back-and-forth:

It is unlikely the bill (S2026) will gain traction in the Democratic-controlled Legislature.

Asked whether he would allow a hearing on the bill in the Senate Health, Human Services and Senior Citizen Committee, Sen. Joseph Vitale (D-Middlesex), the chairman replied, “Any discussion and decision regarding the health and well-being of a woman is between her and her provider.”

Republicans mocked the priorities of their Democrat colleagues by noting a flurry of animal welfare bills have been introduced this year, including a ban on cat declawing.

“Since when did animals become more important than unborn children?” Pennacchio said.