U.S. House passes bill to ban abortion after 20 weeks of gestation

| October 4, 2017 | 2 Comments

The U.S. House Oct. 3 passed the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, which bans abortions after 20 weeks of gestation, about the time doctors have determined that an unborn child can feel pain.

Introduced by Rep. Trent Franks, R-Arizona, it would punish doctors who perform an abortion after 20 weeks, except in cases of rape, incest or if the life of the mother is threatened. Physicians could face up to five years in prison. Women seeking abortions would not be penalized under the bill.

In a statement Oct. 2, the Trump administration said it strongly supported the bill, H.R. 36, and “applauded the House of Representatives for continuing its efforts to secure critical pro-life protections.” President Donald Trump said he would sign the measure if it reached his desk.

The Senate still must schedule consideration of the bill, but that seemed unlikely. Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn, a Texas Republican, told reporters, “That’s not a near-term priority.”

In a Sept. 29 letter to House members, Cardinal Timothy Dolan of New York, chairman of the U.S. bishops’ Committee on Pro-Life Activities, urged passage of the bill.

“While there are divergent views on the practice of abortion,” he said, “it is widely recognized from public opinion polls that a strong majority of the public is consistently opposed to late-term abortions.”

He said called the ban on abortion after 20 weeks “a place to begin uniting Americans who see themselves as ‘pro-life’ and as ‘pro-choice.'”

“All decent and humane people are repulsed by the callous and barbarous treatment of women and children in clinics … that abort children after 20 weeks,” said the cardinal.

“Planned Parenthood’s callous and disturbing practices of harvesting fetal body parts from late-term abortions, partial-birth abortions and the deplorable actions of late-term abortionist Dr. Kermit Gosnell … have shocked our nation and led many Americans to realize that our permissive laws and attitudes have allowed the abortion industry to undertake these procedures,” Cardinal Dolan said, calling the bill’s 20-week ban a “common-sense reform.”

He added that “every child, from conception onward, deserves love and the protection of the law. The real problems that lead women to consider abortion should be addressed with solutions that support both mother and child.”

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Category: U.S. & World News

  • Dominic Deus

    Dominic Deus here– Cardinal Dolan, you were quoted thusly:

    [Cardinal Dolan] called the ban on abortion after 20 weeks “a place to begin uniting Americans who see themselves as ‘pro-life’ and as ‘pro-choice.’”

    No, Cardinal Dolan, the place to begin uniting Americans who see themselves as ‘pro-life’ [or] as ‘pro-choice’ is contraception. Women who are pro-life use it. Women who are pro-choice use it. It’s the perfect place to start uniting because the unity is already there.

    What about men, you say? We don’t get pregnant. Our credibility on this is approximately equal to the cake slicer compared to the baker. Pretty much zero.

  • Charles C.

    You have mentioned several times that you enjoy playing the Devil’s Advocate. Am I wrong in thinking that’s what you’re doing here?

    You criticize Cardinal Dolan, a man who occasionally deserves criticism, for seeing the 20 weeks rule as a compromise, a first step, to begin to find unity on abortion. But that’s what gun control advocates do. That’s what doctors do.

    Gun control advocates aren’t out in force demanding the seizure of all guns. That’s politically impossible, the country wouldn’t stand for it. Instead, they advocate for slightly toughening a law here and a law there, hoping to find some steps they can garner support for.

    Doctors don’t tell their overweight patients “Beginning tomorrow, you have to be on a 1200 calorie diet and exercise strenuously for two hours a day.” The know it won’t happen. They simply suggest taking a 20 minute walk and eating a little less of whatever they eat.

    Cardinal Dolan may be simply saying “Can’t we agree that inflicting pain on an innocent living creature which will eventually become a person violates our principles? Surely people of good will can support that.”

    Why introduce contraception into an abortion argument? Sure, the Church condemns both, but you’ve been against introducing Church thinking into our laws. We’re simply talking about abortion here, and the medical facts relating thereto.

    And the idea that men have no say in abortion? When men are approximately half of the people killed in that process? When, even if you discount the morality of the question, economics and the growth of society are affected as well as society’s valuation of life?

    No, there aren’t any areas where one group of American citizens gets absolutely no say in the social issues and laws of our country. That’s sex discrimination, and I know you don’t like that.