The House announced today it will vote on the Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Act (H.R. 1797). Also known as the “5-Month Abortion Limit” because it forbids all abortions — except in cases of rape and incest — after the fifth month of pregnancy.
The House vote will occur near the anniversary of the conviction of abortionist Kermit Gosnell. Here is the news release from the Susan B. Anthony List, an organization that played a central role in getting this bill back on the House floor after it was suddenly dropped from consideration on January 22.
Washington, D.C – This morning news broke that the U.S. House of Representatives will vote next week on H.R. 1797, the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act. In recent days, members of the national pro-life group Susan B. Anthony List (SBA List) have made over 10,000 live constituent calls to key Members of Congress urging this vote. The legislation, which would stop abortion after five months based on the unborn child’s ability to feel pain is supported by the majority of Americans.
The vote will be held around May 13, the two year anniversary of the conviction of Kermit Gosnell.
“For months, the pro-life grassroots have rallied around our champions in Congress by generating thousands of calls to bring the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act up for a vote,” said Marjorie Dannenfelser, President of the Susan B. Anthony List. “We are thankful to our pro-life allies on the Hill, including House GOP leadership and the Congressional Pro-Life Women’s Caucus, who have tirelessly worked to bring this bill to a vote. This process has yielded a strong bill which we expect to pass next week with enthusiastic bipartisan support. Senator Lindsey Graham, the bill’s Senate sponsor, is standing by to take up the fight in the upper chamber.
“The timing of this vote is fitting. Two years ago, the barbarism of late-term abortion was brought into the national spotlight by the trial of late-term abortionist Dr. Kermit Gosnell. America’s eyes were opened to the horrific reality of late-term abortion, a stain on our national conscience. A large majority of Americans – especially women, young people, and Hispanics – are eager to see the United States removed from the list of only seven countries to allow elective abortions after the point the unborn child can feel pain.
“This legislation will be the defining abortion issue of the 2016 elections and put pro-life candidates on offense. Already, the entire Republican presidential field has rallied behind this popular legislation while Hillary Clinton remains elusive on her late-term abortion position. The national conversation on this bill will force Clinton to choose between the American people or her uncompromising, deep-pocketed friends in the big abortion industry who accept no limits to abortion on-demand.”
In 2013, Kermit Gosnell was found guilty of the murder of three newborn children and the negligent death of one patient. He had been charged with eight counts of murder including seven babies who were born alive and then killed with scissors. Prosecutors said that he made millions of dollars over 30 years, performing as many late-term abortions as he could. His conviction spurred a vote on the federal five month abortion limit, first passed by the House in June 2013 by a vote of 228-196.
A November 2014 poll from Quinnipiac found that 60 percent of Americans, including 56 percent of Independents and 46 percent of Democrats, support the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act. To date, fourteen declared and potential GOP presidential candidates have signed on in support of the legislation.
Yesterday The New York Times highlighted a study which found that premature infants, provided with proper medical care, can survive prior to 24 weeks, generally thought to be the point of “viability.” The Times conceded that changing viability standards pose great implications for the national abortion debate.