“YES” on 5-month Abortion Ban (H.R. 36) (Senate)
On Tuesday, the Senate will hold an important procedural vote on the House-passed Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act (H.R. 36), introduced by Rep. Trent Franks (R-AZ) 90%. This legislation will protect unborn children by preventing abortions five months after fertilization, at which time scientific evidence suggests the child can feel pain.
The United States is one of only seven countries in which elective, late-term abortions are legal, putting us in the same company as North Korea, China and Vietnam. Last year Quinnipiac found that 60 percent of Americans support a five-month ban, including 56 percent of Independents and nearly half of Democrats. Moreover, a 2013 survey conducted by the Washington Post revealed that 60 percent of women support this limitation as well.
The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office estimates that passing this bill would save roughly 11,000 lives each year—a number widely considered to be on the conservative side. As Rep. Franks has explained in sponsoring the bill, “More than 18,000 ‘very late term’ abortions are performed every year on perfectly healthy unborn babies in America,” explaining these lives are often taken “torturously.” The five-month ban has successfully become law in 13 states so far, and the time has come to protect the sanctity of life at the national level.
As Justice Anthony M. Kennedy explained in the case of Stenberg v. Carhart, “The fetus, in many cases, dies just as a human adult or child would: It bleeds to death as it is torn limb from limb.” This legislation should not represent an aberration on the congressional voting record, but rather should mark the beginning of a true fight on behalf of the unborn — an effort which must include defunding Planned Parenthood at the end of this month. Between now and the inauguration of the next president, Planned Parenthood will carry out nearly 440,000 abortions.
Heritage Action supports H.R. 36 and will include it as a key vote on our legislative scorecard.