Editor’s note. The Trump Administration released a “Statement of Administration Policy” (SAP) strongly supporting the bills and stating that President Trump would sign into law both pieces of legislation.
S. 3275 – Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act
(Sen. Graham, R-SC, and 47 cosponsors)
S. 311 – Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act
(Sen. Sasse, R-NE, and 50 cosponsors) The Administration strongly supports S. 3275, the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, and S. 311, the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act. The Administration appreciates the diligent work of lawmakers to protect America’s unborn and newly born children.
A growing body of medical evidence shows that unborn children may experience pain as early as the 12th week of development. Additionally, scientific research on fetal development published as recently as January 2020 has found that it is highly probable that an unborn child will feel pain between 12 and 24 weeks of gestation. This research also noted that surgeons and medical teams who perform invasive treatments on unborn children routinely recommend fetal anesthesia and pain relief as a matter of practice, but those who perform abortions rarely do so.
S. 3275 would make it unlawful to perform an abortion after 20 weeks of development, with limited exceptions. This bill reflects the most up-to-date scientific findings and a more compassionate and principled approach to determining permissible abortion timeframes. A legal framework for abortions centered upon viability, which is when an infant is able to survive outside of the womb, is not morally justifiable if an unborn infant is capable of feeling pain well before that date.
S. 311 would require that healthcare providers treat newborns, irrespective of the circumstances of their birth, as human patients. In 2002, the Born-Alive Infants Protection Act ensured that an infant born alive after a failed abortion would be legally protected. Unfortunately, that legal protection has not always resulted in physical protection. For example, when a child survives an attempted abortion, there is often little incentive for an abortion practitioner to provide even basic medical care to ensure the child’s continued survival. In fact, since 2002, evidence has shown that, in many instances, abortion providers have not treated newborns as persons, nor have they provided the type of care that would be provided to a premature infant of spontaneous birth.
Recent studies supported by National Institutes of Health-funded research have shown that extremely preterm babies, delivered at 22 weeks, are now more likely to survive than ever.