HomeoldHouse to vote on Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act January 22

House to vote on Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act January 22

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With the 42nd anniversary of Roe just nine days away, it is about the time when the annual crescendo of media attention [read cacophony] begins to roar. Many are just pro-abortion press releases disguised as news stories, others are more helpful.

In a story that ran Monday, titled “GOP hopes it’s cracked the abortion code,” POLITCO revealed, “GOP [House] leaders plan to vote on a federal 20-week abortion ban on Jan. 22” — news that will come as a surprise to the abortion lobby, although not to NRLC’s legislative staff.

More specifically, this is the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act which passed the House in June 2013 on a vote of 228-196, only to be bottled up by the then-Democratically controlled Senate. As you know the Senate Majority Leader is now pro-life Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), who replaced pro-abortion Harry Reid (D-Nv.)

There are several nuggets in the article that are worth commenting on..

Burgess Everett and Lauren French tell their readers that there is widespread support among virtually all Republicans, including would-be presidential contenders, for the bill. And why not?

The measure enjoys widespread public support, according to all polls (except the one conjured up by Planned Parenthood); has passed the House, as noted; and virtually identical bills are already on the books in ten states.

It offers mounds of scientific data to tell the public what it already intuitively knows: that by 20 weeks fetal age, the unborn is capable of experiencing excruciating pain as she is yanked apart in an abortion.

Abortion advocates scream to high heaven this is “disproven,” but that simply is not the case, as we have written about dozens of times at NRL News Today and NRL News. (To read about just some of the extensive documentation, go to www.nrlc.org/abortion/fetalpain or http://www.doctorsonfetalpain.com.)

In a back-handed sort of way, Everett and French also acknowledge that when pro-life candidates talk about abortion in a thoughtful, intelligent way, this severely limits the degree to which pro-abortionists can accomplish their goal: talking about anything but abortion itself.

As a result (as NRL News Today has discussed extensively), Republicans gained nine in the United States Senate in the 2014 mid-term elections. Winners included Dan Sullivan in Alaska, Tom Cotton in Arkansas, Cory Gardner in Colorado, Joni Ernst in Iowa, Bill Cassidy in Louisiana, Steve Daines in Montana, Thom Tillis in North Carolina, Mike Rounds in South Dakota, and Shelley Moore Capito in West Virginia.

Third, to return to the issue of popular support, while acknowledging that a large majority of Americans support the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, Everett and French first write that “Americans are split evenly between supporters and opponents of abortion rights according to a Gallup poll in 2014.”

In one sense, this is true, as we talked about here. When you ask how people self-identify, whether pro-life or pro-choice, the responses tend to be almost exactly equal. But that overlooks more important data in Gallup’s 2014 poll.

21% said abortion should be illegal in all circumstances (one point more than 2013) and 37% said abortion should be legal only in a few circumstances (one point less than 2013). In other words a total of 58% said abortion should either not be legal at all (21%) or only “in a few circumstances” (37%). Most Americans oppose the reasons offered for why the overwhelming percentage of abortions are performed.

One other item from the May 2014 Gallup poll. Gallup offered a convoluted—and wholly unconvincing—argument that the pro-life candidate enjoyed a slightly smaller advantage among single-issue voters than previously.

As NRL Political Director Karen Cross explained after the 2014 mid-term elections, a post-election poll of actual voters conducted by The Polling Company/ WomanTrend showed a continued advantage for pro-life candidates.

First, when it came to voters who said the abortion issue affected their vote, 23% said they voted for candidates who oppose abortion. Just 16% of those who said abortion affected their vote voted for candidates who favor abortion.

That is a net advantage of 7% for pro-life candidates.

Please see the action alert on the Legislative Action Center.

Keep reading NRL News Today and NRL News in the days and weeks to come as federal and state initiatives are rolled out.


Daniel Miller is responsible for nearly all of National Right to Life News' political writing.

With the election of Donald Trump to the U.S. presidency, Daniel Miller developed a deep obsession with U.S. politics that has never let go of the political scientist. Whether it's the election of Joe Biden, the midterm elections in Congress, the abortion rights debate in the Supreme Court or the mudslinging in the primaries - Daniel Miller is happy to stay up late for you.

Daniel was born and raised in New York. After living in China, working for a news agency and another stint at a major news network, he now lives in Arizona with his two daughters.

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