Action Taken in Senate on the “Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act” and the “Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act”

WASHINGTON – This week, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) took action to set up votes on both the “Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act” (S. 3275) and the “Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act” (S. 311).

The “Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act” is sponsored by Senator Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) and the “Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act” is sponsored by Senator Ben Sasse (R-Neb.).

“We are proud to stand with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, Senator Lindsey Graham, Senator Sasse, and our other pro-life allies in the Senate to protect pain-capable unborn children and children born alive following an abortion,” said National Right to Life President Carol Tobias.

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 legislation has previously passed the U.S. House of Representatives and has garnered a majority of votes in the U.S. Senate.

The Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act contains an explicit requirement that a baby born alive during an abortion must be afforded “the same degree” of care that would apply “to any other child born alive at the same gestational age,” including transportation to a hospital. This language does not dictate bona fide medical judgments nor require futile measures, but rather, requires that babies born alive during abortions are treated in the same manner as those who are spontaneously born prematurely.

“Babies capable of feeling pain are considered by the medical profession to be a ‘second patient.’ Babies born after an abortion are considered separate individuals in the eyes of the law and every effort should be made to preserve their lives,” said Jennifer Popik, J.D., legislative director for National Right to Life. 

Popik continued, “These bills have the power to speak to the people of this country, highlighting that without such laws, it is legal not only to kill these very developed, living unborn children who can feel pain but also to neglect those born alive following an abortion which is tantamount to infanticide.”