“Science tells us that after 20 weeks of pregnancy, unborn babies are able to feel pain inside the womb”

Editor’s note. The following are the remarks as prepared for delivery by Congresswoman Diane Black (R-TN), a member of the Pro-Life Caucus, who spoke on the House floor in support of H.R. 36–the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act. The measure passed yesterday 237-189 with all but two Republicans voting in favor, and all but three Democrats voting against. Seven members did not vote.

Rep. Diane Black (R-TN)

M. Speaker, it is difficult to imagine what could be more important than establishing who is protected under the law and who is not – who is given a chance at life, and who is denied it.

As technology continues to evolve, the more we can celebrate the ability we have to save the life of a baby at just 20 weeks after conception – that is truly remarkable.

When I became a nurse over 40 years ago, I vowed to “devote myself to the welfare of those committed to my care,” whether they were born or unborn. I am still committed to that today.

40 years later, science tells us that after 20 weeks of pregnancy, unborn babies are able to feel pain inside the womb.

The Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act protects those who cannot protect themselves when handed a death sentence.

M. Speaker, there are currently seven countries in the world that allow elective, late-term abortions – including North Korea and China. Why is the United States on a list with countries categorized as human rights abusers? Our nation can do far better.

I have seen how special care is given to reduce the pain of precious premature babies born at 20 weeks in the NICU. Unborn children in the womb at this stage should be protected too.

In a late-term abortion procedure, babies are sometimes torn apart limb from limb or their spinal cords are cut – they can FEEL this at 20 weeks.

These are living human beings that offer unbridled potential to the world. It is incomprehensible that our laws today say otherwise.

We must pass the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act to give these unborn children a chance to see the light of day.

M. Speaker, I yield the remainder of my time.

A nurse for more than 40 years, Congressman Black serves as Chairman of the House Budget Committee and a member of the Ways and Means Committee.