Facts on the Pain-Capable Protection Act

Here is an overview on some facts on H.R. 1797 (or similar legislation).

  • What Does the Bill Do? H.R. 1797 proposes to protect the unborn child at 20 weeks fetal age, a point where a plethora of scientific evidence shows the baby can feel pain, just like the babies killed by Kermit Gosnell.
  • You Mentioned H.R. 1797.  Will there be a specific Senate bill? It has been rumored that a Senate specific version of H.R. 1797 could be introduced in 2013.  Regardless, H.R. 1797 can be moved forward in the Senate now.
  • How Is Age of Baby Measured? H.R. 1797 contains congressional findings of fact regarding the medical evidence that unborn children experience pain at least by 20 weeks "post-fertilization age," or the start of the sixth month. The bill generally bars abortion after that point, with an exception that applies when an acute physical condition endangers the life of the mother. Note: 20 weeks post-fertilization age ("fetal age") is equivalent to "22 weeks of pregnancy" in the widely employed "LMP" dating system. Journalists who wish to translate into the "weeks of pregnancy" or "weeks of gestation" (LMP) dating system are free to do so, of course, but if they write that the bill would "ban abortion at 20 weeks of pregnancy," they are in error by two weeks. In the "weeks of pregnancy" system, the bill applies at 22 weeks.
  • Does the fetus really feel pain? By eight weeks after conception, the unborn child responds to physical touch. By twenty weeks after conception, scientific evidence shows all anatomical pain receptors and nerve endings are fully functional, allowing the unborn child to feel pain. However, gruesome abortion procedures are still used to take the lives of unborn children across America after 20 weeks.  Learn more about the science of fetal pain at www.DoctorsOnFetalPain.com.
  • What Does Louisiana law say? H.R. 1797 is based on legislation already enacted in ten states. In 2012, Louisiana passed legislation similar to H.R. 1797 by significant bi-partisan margins in our legislature. We are proud that abortion can no longer be performed in Louisiana past 20 weeks fetal age.
  • What About Public Support? H.R. 1797 is based on an National Right to Life model bill that has already been enacted in ten states (including Louisiana). In a nationwide poll of 1,003 registered voters in March, The Polling Company found that 64% would support a law such as the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act prohibiting abortion after 20 weeks -- when an unborn baby can feel pain -- unless the life of the mother is in danger. Only 30% opposed such legislation. Women voters split 63%-31% in support of such a law, and 63% of independent voters supported it.

For more on Fetal Pain legislation, visit National Right to Life.