Jun 11 2015
Contact: Kevin Bishop (864) 250-1417 or Lorcan Connick (202) 224-5972
WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) was joined by pro-life and pro-family leaders today in introducing the Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Act in the United States Senate.
“There are only seven countries that allow wholesale abortions at the 20-week period including China and North Korea. The United States should not be in that club.
“I don’t believe abortion, five months into pregnancy, makes us a better nation. I look forward to leading this long-overdue effort and pushing for a roll call vote in the Senate.
“Today is the start of a journey, much like the one we used to pass the Unborn Victims of Violence Act and the Partial Birth Abortion Ban. I have no doubt the legislation will one day be passed by Congress and signed into law.
“America is at her best when she’s standing up for the least among us and the sooner we pass this legislation into law, the better. We are on the right side of history.”
• At the age of 20 weeks post fertilization, scientific evidence tells us an unborn child can feel pain. Pain medication is administered directly to the unborn child in second-trimester fetal surgery, in addition to anesthesia. The unborn child shows physical, chemical, brain and stress responses demonstrating pain at this stage of development.
• The Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act is based in science, has overwhelming public support, and is necessary to protect unborn children from painful and untimely deaths.
• Companion legislation passed the U.S. House of Representatives in May by a vote of 242-184.
PAIN-CAPABLE UNBORN CHILD PROTECTION ACT
At the age of 20 weeks post fertilization, scientific evidence tells us an unborn child can feel pain. Pain medication is administered directly to the unborn child in second-trimester fetal surgery, in addition to anesthesia. The unborn child shows physical, chemical, brain and stress responses demonstrating pain at this stage of development.
The Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act is based in science, has overwhelming public support, and is necessary to protect unborn children from painful and untimely deaths.
Summary of Provisions:
• The Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act would make it illegal for any person to perform, or attempt to perform, an abortion without first making a determination of the probable post-fertilization age of the unborn child.
• If the post-fertilization age of the unborn child is determined to be 20 weeks or greater, an abortion shall not be performed, unless –
o It is necessary to save the life of the pregnant woman;
o The pregnancy is a result of rape and the woman has received medical treatment or counseling at least 48 hours prior to the abortion; or if she chooses to do so, has made a report to law enforcement; or
o The pregnancy is a result of rape or incest against a minor and the abuse is reported to either social services or law enforcement.
• In the case of the exceptions –
o the abortion may only proceed in a manner that provides the best opportunity for the unborn child to survive unless that would pose a greater risk of death or serious bodily injury to the pregnant woman; and
o the abortion provider must receive informed consent from the pregnant woman, informing her of the child’s age, a description of the law, and the woman’s rights under the law.
• A woman on whom an abortion was performed in violation of this Act may bring a civil action against the abortion provider in court to recover damages.
• The abortion doctors are required to submit annual data to the National Center for Health and Statistics providing statistical information about abortions carried out after 20 weeks post-fertilization age.
• The criminal punishment for a violation of this Act is imprisonment of up to five years, fines, or both.
• The Act makes clear that a woman who receives an illegal abortion in violation of this act may not be prosecuted.