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Bill would protect babies after 20 weeks

By Jonathan Imbody | September 17, 2015

Excerpted from "Why adding family leave could save the GOP's bill to ban abortion after 20 weeks," Los Angeles Times Op-ed by Charles C. Camosy, September 15, 2015 - A GOP-sponsored bill — the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act — which would ban abortion beyond 20 weeks except in cases of rape or when the life of the mother is at risk, has already passed in the House of Representatives.

The Senate is expected to vote on it this month, perhaps timed to coincide with the arrival in the U.S. of Pope Francis. The act ought to be a shoe-in: According to a 2013 Washington Post-ABC News poll 64% of Americans support restricting abortion beyond 20 weeks. Perhaps counterintuitively, women are more likely to support it than men, and younger people more than older people.


Jonathan ImbodyCMA VP for Govt. Relations Jonathan Imbody: “Within the next two weeks, the U.S. Senate is expected to consider S. 1553, Senator Lindsey Graham’s (R-SC) Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act. The bill would ban abortions after five months in pregnancy—a point at which CMDA member Dr. Jean Wright has testified that a developing baby can feel pain at intensely high levels.

“As we explained to members of Congress in a letter, life-affirming healthcare professionals support this bill because it is consistent with scientific integrity, compassion and the medical principle of informed consent:

  • Scientific integrity calls for an objective presentation of the major advances in scientific knowledge about fetal development and pain perception. Developing babies at this age feel pain; they grimace and withdraw during procedures. The more experience we have with very premature babies in intensive-care units, the clearer it becomes that no rationale can justify harming them in utero at the same age.
  • Compassion demands that next to protecting life and promoting healing, a physician must do all in his or her power to alleviate pain.
  • Informed consent requires that any woman contemplating an abortion receive full and objective information about the procedure--including the pain her developing child will experience.

Click here to use an editable letter on CMDA's legislative action site to encourage your senators to support (and thank your Rep for supporting) the House-passed Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act to protect developing babies from unspeakable pain and death.

Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act
CMDA Resources on Abortion
Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act - Fact Sheet

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