WASHINGTON – The National Right to Life Committee (NRLC) praised today’s introduction in the U.S. House of Representatives of the Pain- Capable Unborn Child Protection Act by Congressman Chris Smith (R-NJ), co-chairman of the House Pro-Life Caucus.
Since 2010, National Right to Life and its state affiliates have led the effort to protect pain-capable unborn children, starting with enactment of model legislation in Nebraska. Sixteen states have enacted the National Right to Life model legislation, and the law is currently in effect in 15.
The Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act was developed from National Right to Life’s model. The legislation has previously passed the U.S. House of Representatives and has garnered a majority of votes in the U.S. Senate.
“We are proud to stand with pro-life hero Congressman Smith in encouraging the U.S. House to protect pain-capable unborn children, National Right to Life President Carol Tobias said. “One-fourth of premature infants now survive when born at this stage – and there is strong evidence that were a child to be aborted at that stage, they would experience great pain, as they are torn limb from limb in late abortions.”
The Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act continues to be one of the right-to-life movement’s top congressional priorities for the 116th Congress. Like the state bills, the proposed federal law would generally extend legal protection to unborn humans beginning at 20 weeks fetal age (22 weeks of pregnancy), based on congressional findings that by that point (and even earlier) the unborn child has the capacity to experience great pain during an abortion.
“These are very developed babies – these babies are capable of feeling pain and are considered by the medical profession to be a second patient,” Jennifer Popik, J.D., legislative director for National Right to Life, added. “This legislation has saved lives, driving abortionists out of states who are performing abortions on these babies. And this legislation has the power to speak to the people of this country, highlighting, that where this bill is not law, it is legal to kill these very developed unborn children.”