BreakPoint: House Passes 20-Week Abortion Ban

Time to Make It Law

Congress has a chance right now to end one of the most grisly types of abortion. Pro-lifers, it’s time to get loud.

On Tuesday, the U.S. House of Representatives passed H.R. 36, the “Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act,” on a vote of 237-189. If enacted, this bill would criminalize abortion after twenty weeks of pregnancy except in cases of rape, incest, and the life of the mother. While it’s similar to laws already in place in a few states, it’s also similar to federal bills that failed in 2013 and 2015.

The crucial difference between then and now, of course, is the Republican president in the White House—one who campaigned on an explicitly pro-life platform and has pledged to sign this bill. That means the only thing now standing between the Pain-Capable act and the president’s desk is the Senate—which is no small hurdle.

Why is this legislation so important? Well, as the name suggests, babies at twenty weeks of gestation have nervous systems developed enough to feel pain. Now, in a consistent pro-life worldview, functional abilities have nothing to do with human dignity, and so all abortions are wrong. But abortions conducted just two or three weeks prior to the current point of viability are particularly and obviously gruesome.

Chances are, you may have met someone who was born prematurely at around 24 weeks. Killing any child should be unthinkable, but just before viability? In fact, former abortionist Dr. Anthony Levatino explains how gruesome second trimester abortions are in a disturbing video for LiveAction. We’ve linked to it at BreakPoint.org, but I’ll tell you this much: It involves literally ripping a baby limb from limb.

On a purely political basis—and contrary to claims by Planned Parenthood and others—this bill is popular on both sides of the political aisle. A 2013 Gallup poll found just 27 percent of Americans think abortion should be legal after the first trimester of pregnancy which, by the way, ends at 12 weeks of gestation.

A Knights of Columbus poll in 2014 found an incredible 84 percent of Americans want to restrict abortion to the first three months of pregnancy or less! And—are you sitting down for this?—62 percent of those who are strongly pro-choice support a 20-week ban. These are folks who support paying for abortions with tax dollars. As Will Saletan at Slate admits, “even most pro-choice people aren’t sold” on killing babies within a hairs breadth of viability.

And this legislation would also moderate America’s extremely liberal federal abortion laws, making them more like those of other Western nations. Now, I’m no fan of modeling America after Europe as some are, but as Cassy Fiano explains in a video for Prager University, Germany, Denmark, Belgium, and France all heavily restrict or effectively ban abortions after the first trimester. Only seven other countries have abortion laws like America, and two of them are North Korea and China.

So, where’s our challenge? CNN reports that GOP Whip Senator John Cornyn of Texas, when asked whether his chamber would take up this legislation, said “That’s not a near-term priority.”

Say what? If ending abortion isn’t the reason pro-lifers vote overwhelmingly Republican, what is? Look, for too long we’ve heard lots of pro-life rhetoric on the GOP campaign trail, only to see the unborn take a backseat to other priorities in Washington.

So it’s time to send a clear message to Cornyn and other Senate Republicans: This is why your constituents elected you. Get busy.

And for Democratic senators, we say, “Look at the poll numbers. Listen to Americans. The majority of your voters—the pro-choice crowd—supports this legislation.” Listen to them, not to Planned Parenthood or the increasingly irrelevant abortion lobby. End this most grisly form of abortion now.

Now make no mistake—all abortion should be illegal. But this is a huge step in the right direction. Come to BreakPoint.org and we’ll help you get in touch with your U.S. senators. It’s their job to listen. And it’s our job to speak for those who can’t.

 

House Passes 20-Week Abortion Ban: Time to Make It Law

As John urged, now is the time for action. Get in touch with your senators. Ask them to support the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act. Find contact information for all United States senators by clicking here.

Resources

With Trump’s backing, House approves ban on abortion after 20 weeks of pregnancy
  • Mike DeBonis and Jenna Johnson | Washington Post | October 3, 2017
America’s Extreme Abortion Laws: The Supreme Court v. the People
  • John Stonestreet | BreakPoint.org | July 29, 2016
The Political Peril of Second-Trimester Abortions
  • William Saletan | Slate.com | January 23, 2014
Abortion in America
  • Marist Poll January 2014

2017-10-05 11:00:59

Comment Policy: Commenters are welcome to argue all points of view, but they are asked to do it civilly and respectfully. Comments that call names, insult other people or groups, use profanity or obscenity, repeat the same points over and over, or make personal remarks about other commenters will be deleted. After multiple infractions, commenters may be banned.

  • Zarm

    We can only hope and pray; similar legislation’s cleared the House but not gotten its day in the Senate before. (Or been voted down). Is there anything we can do besides contacting our Senators?

  • Gabriela Astrid Morris

    Does anyone have a cheat sheet email draft I can copy and send to my Senators?

    I’m trying to figure out what the message should contain. I don’t lobby very much.

    Mainly, since my Senators are Democrats, I’d quote “And for Democratic senators, we say, “Look at the poll numbers. Listen to Americans. The majority of your voters—the pro-choice crowd—supports this legislation.” Listen to them, not to Planned Parenthood or the increasingly irrelevant abortion lobby. End this most grisly form of abortion now.” And link to this page.

    • Zarm

      Generally, I tend to emphasize that I ma their constitution, politely imply that future support for them depends very much on this issue (for me and my household, at least, it does), appeal to the social justice and prevention of cruelty inherent in the bill, and a little flattery never hurts, too… “Based on your voting record, I believe you are a decent human being committed to social justice and the aversion of atrocity, therefore I assume that this is a mere formality, and that you were already planning on support the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Act. But still, due to the extreme importance of this issue- held by voters on both sides of the political spectrum, agreed upon by a pro-life and pro-choice majority alike- I wanted to go on record and add my voice to those urging you to support, champion, and see the passing of this critical piece of legislation that not only affirms our commitment to justice and humane treatment for all human beings, but affirms the character of this nation as one that has learned form past mistakes, stands up for those who have no voice in society, and is committed to abolishing cruelty and barbarity wherever the legacy of past ignorance, injustice, and foolishness has stolen the rights of those lacking social equity.”

      Or something to that effect.

      • Gabriela Astrid Morris

        “I tend to emphasize that I ma their constitution”
        What did you mean?

        • Zarm

          Pretty sure that was “I’m their constituent.” Not quite sure how I messed it up that badly…

          • Gabriela Astrid Morris

            Ah, makes sense now.

      • Gabriela Astrid Morris

        Thanks, Zarm, I’ll use that, with this change: “stands up for those young ones with no voice in society,”

  • Zarm

    To the best of my knowledge, it does (at leas the former two). The US.gov page says “The bill provides exceptions for an abortion: (1) that is necessary to
    save the life of the pregnant woman, or (2) when the pregnancy is the
    result of rape or incest.”

    • gladys1071

      what about fetal abnormalities?, some abnormalities cannot be diagnosed until later in pregnancy, i hope they have exception for that, i think DS is diagnosed later in pregnancy, i am not sure.

      I am not totally in agreement on this because i see it a as a slipper slope and encroachment on women’s rights, but i have a feeling it will not pass the Senate anyway.

      • Gina Dalfonzo

        Are you saying that disabilities make a person worthy of dying?

        • gladys1071

          the decision should be left to the parents if they want to bring to term a DS or other fetal abnormalities fetus.

          • Gina Dalfonzo

            You didn’t answer my question.

          • gladys1071

            I don’t know, if it were me carrying a DS fetus, yes i would terminate.

          • Gina Dalfonzo

            That’s not what I asked, either.

          • gladys1071

            i really don’t know that is my answer. If someone is going to be born with a disability, do i think they have a right to live I DON’T KNOW!, you ask me why? well, does a person with a disability where they will be dependent on another for their whole life, have a right to live that requires someone to provide it? I really don’t know, the answer is not black and white for me.

            You are asking for a black and white answer, i don’t have it.

          • Gabriela Astrid Morris

            Many people will adopt children with disabilities. We all have to ask for help with our children, some more than others. We don’t have to kill them when we feel incapable.

          • gladys1071

            You are asking a black or white question, i cannot answer it. If a person is going to be born with a disability that will require lifelong care, do you believe that person has a right to such care?

            Do you think Parents should be forced to give birth to a DS child and be forced to take care of one is the better question?

            I cannot answer that for anyone else but for myself.

          • Phoenix1977

            And that is exactly why medical ethical decisions should be left to medical professionals. Because politicians either don’t know enough about it, don’t care enough about it or use it to gain popularity.

          • Steve

            No, medical ethical decisions are made WITH medical professionals, not BY them.

          • Phoenix1977

            Perhaps. Anyway, never by politicians.

          • Steve

            So if I am in utero and have an “anomaly” my life is dependent upon the decision of someone whom I have never met?

          • gladys1071

            your life is dependent on the decision of the person doing the gestating, YES that is correct.

          • Gabriela Astrid Morris

            Sorry, my comment above should have been here. Newbie, right here.

          • Gina Dalfonzo

            That’s okay. 🙂

      • Zarm

        I don’t think most of the bills sponsors would consider abnormalities like Down’s Syndrome a viable reason to end a life, so I suspect the bill does not make these exceptions.

        It would appear that the Senate prospects are indeed grim by most accounts- but God can accomplish anything. Things didn’t look too promising for the vote to end slavery in England, or Declare Independence in the US… but at the 11th hour, He brought circumstances together. I’ll be praying daily (and invite anyone else who feels strongly about the issue to join me) that He will see fit to work in events once again and bring this bill to fruition despite the odds. ‘With man, it is impossible, but with God all things are possible.’

        • gladys1071

          i am not sure i fully support the bill anyway, i feel conflicted about it.

        • gladys1071

          Well that is too bad, parents should not be forced by the law to bring to term a Down syndrome or other fetal abnormalities baby. I will most likely not support the bill if it does not have those exceptions.

      • Gabriela Astrid Morris

        Gina, don’t you mean to ask do certain disabilities make a person want to be dead? Or make a person’s place the deathbed? “Worthy of dying” sounds like we’re considering a criminal. We’re asking arepeople with disabilities are wonderful to have, or seen as only burden, not wanted and have less right to live?

        • Gina Dalfonzo

          Gladys is arguing that a disability ought to be grounds for a woman to be able to abort, so my question was, does the mere fact that the child has a disability justify killing that child?

          • gladys1071

            it depends on what the disability is, how severe and the perspective parent’s, commitment to take on that responsibility. That is why i said i cannot answer your question because it is subjective and each couple has to make that decision for themselves.

          • Gina Dalfonzo

            I think you just did answer. And the answer was yes.

          • gladys1071

            you want a simple yes and no answer and that is simplistic thinking, you obviously don’t understand the concept of nuance and areas of gray.

          • Gina Dalfonzo

            What is gray about deciding that a disability makes a human being unfit to live?

          • gladys1071

            as i stated you obviously do not understand the concept of nuance. Yes it is a gray area, their is no absolute wrong or right about this.

          • Steve

            So the “nuances” allow for people to take the life of another?

          • gladys1071

            when it comes to pregnancy it does.

          • gladys1071

            you obviously have never been in the shoes of women and or couples with fetal abnormality diagnosis or down syndrome for a much wanted pregnancy and what a gut wrenching decision they are faced with. All you do is ask simplistic BLACK/OR WHITE questions that do NOT have easy answers.

            You see the world in stark black and white, but guess what the world has many shades of gray and not everything is yes or no or black or white.

          • Steve

            Moral relitavism

      • Steve

        What if someone finds out they have a child with Down’s in the delivery room after birth? What do you recommend?

        • gladys1071

          I don’t recommend anything, it is up to the parents if they want to keep it or give it up for adoption.

  • gladys1071

    i really want to be on board with this legislation as a moderate pro-choicer, but i fear the slippery slope and encroachment on women’s rights. If pro-lifers were to be happy with a 20 week bans and not go any further, but i doubt it, so my support is shaky. I know ultimately, pro-lifers want to ban abortion all the way to conception, and i will NOT agree to that.

    I doubt it will pass the Senate, in some ways i hope it does not.

    • Steve

      Most people who are “pro-choice” are in favor of this bill as they recognize reality.
      The US is one of only 7 or so countries that allow abortion this late. Is that because we are so enlightened? Oh, by the way, North Korea and China are 2 of the others. Nice company…
      Out of curiosity gladys1071 is there any point at which you disagree with abortion, as you are “moderate”?

      • gladys1071

        as i stated i would support this bill, it if had exceptions for fetal abnormalities and if pro-lifers would stop here and not try to encroach more on a woman’s private pregnancy decisions.

  • Phoenix1977

    There are several things wrong with this bill, one of them being a bill restricting women’s rights to begin with. But another one is the validity of prenatal diagnostics for, for example, Down Syndrome. The diagnosis cannot be made conclusively before a gestational period of 20 weeks. So either women are going to abort their fetuses on an inconclusive diagnosis made at 12 weeks or they will give birth to a child with Down Syndrome they cannot (or will not) care for. And the same argument can be made for other conditions as well, like spina bifida or cystic fibrosis.
    Besides, the real question is not whether or not this bill will pass. The question is whether or not the Supreme Court will allow this bill to survive in the long run. So far the Supreme Court has sided with women’s rights in favor of abortion every time since Roe vs. Wade.

    • gladys1071

      Thank you for outlining my issues with this bill better than i did.

    • Steve

      When you say “women’s rights” you are only talking about those that have been lucky enough to be born not those who have no say, right? I’m talking about the unborn girls who represent 50% of all aborted children.

      • gladys1071

        no i am talking about bodily rights, the right to refuse to sustain a life in one’s body.

      • Phoenix1977

        For one: a fetus is not a legal individual and is therefor never a woman.
        Second: a fetus is no legal individual and is therefor not protected under any law or treaty, including the American Constitution, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights or the Declaration of Children’s Rights.
        Third: if you take into account the sex specific abortion rate it’s quite likely the percentage of female fetuses being aborted is higher than your assumed 50%.

  • Jim H – Banned From LAN

    Almost all abortions are performed before 20 weeks anyway. Less than one and a half percent occur after this point anyway, This is simply political theatre where the Republican are pandering to their base. How much money are their constituents willing to waste paying them for this kind of meaningless nonsense. You would think they would learn something with all though failed attempts to overturn Obamacare.

    • Gabriela Astrid Morris

      This can save many lives even if it is only one percent. Laws do compel people.

    • Steve

      If I am the unborn baby in the 1.5% then I am happy for this law.

      • Jim H – Banned From LAN

        No, if you are the unborn baby in the 1.5%, you are total unaware of this law and have no opinion either way.

  • gladys1071

    The problem is who is going to take care of people with severe disabilities. It is easy to say that they should live without taking into account, WHO is going to provide their life long care? if such requires that.

    The problem is not black or white, it is complex and messy.

    • Steve

      Have you ever known someone with Down’s?
      They are some of the happiest people I have ever met and radiate happiness to others.
      Your comments make it sound like they are carrying the plague.

  • gladys1071

    easy for you to say this on this forum, have you ever been in someone’s shoes with such a diagnosis,, do you have children with such disabilities? Do you think you have the right to tell another what challenges they can take or not?

    It is very presumptious to tell others what to do with their lives, when you yourself have no skin in it.

    • Gina Dalfonzo

      But it isn’t at all presumptious to end a life because that person needs care that you prefer not to give?

      • gladys1071

        how about no one can be forced to give care to anyone else if they don’t want to, it is called free will.

        • Steve

          What about the free will of the individual who’s life is being taken away, not just inconvenienced?

          • gladys1071

            So you for slavery then, you think people should be compeled or forced to provide for another to sustain their life?

    • Steve

      It is more presumptuous to TAKE someone’s life.

    • Tyler

      With all due respect, I have to outright reject with the implied premises here, which could be one or both of the following: 1) the mother’s right to choose outweighs the right of the child to be alive or 2)the child (fetus, whatever you want to call it) is not human. Matters of protecting human life have no requirement to experience what everyone experiences. Having a difficult circumstance does not excuse the killing of an innocent human being.

  • gladys1071

    Our laws are secular and in this country not everyone is a Christian or religious, so you quoting scripture is irrelevent in a pluralistic nation like the United States/

    • Sam Benito

      1 You said you are a Christian

      2 You said “the problem is not black or white”

      3 You said “if it were me carrying a DS fetus, yes i would terminate”

      So I assumed quoting Scripture to show that this is indeed a black-and-white matter was entirely relevant to you and the biblically-incongruous position you seem to hold.

      As for pluralism, America’s laws aren’t “secular” in the sense of being divorced from the Christian ethic, but only in the sense that they do not confer special status on adherents of Christianity or any other religion, or no religion at all, but provide equal justice for all (most people call this “freedom of religion”). American jurisprudence is rooted in and still heavily permeated by the Judeo-Christian Scriptures. Recall that the Declaration of Independence, in its very first sentence, appeals to “the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God” as justification for our separation from England. Our laws are still largely based on biblical morality.

      “Secularity” does not mean “anti-biblical” or “anti-religious”, nor does it mean Scripture is “irrelevant” in the determination of justice.

  • gladys1071

    That is easy to say, but not in practice. Their is no human right to live, if that were the case then we would not die, your logic is flawed. You cannot compell someone to care for a disabled person, that is the reality of life.

    So tell me where their is anywhere written that their is a right to live, it does not exist in nature. If you go out into the woods, the bear or wolf does not care about your right to live, you will either kill the bear or wolf or be eaten.

    Children/ adults do not have a right to compell others to care for them by force.

    • Gina Dalfonzo

      “So tell me where their is anywhere written that their is a right to live”

      The Declaration of Independence?

      • gladys1071

        The Declaration of Independence does not GUARANTEE any right to live, it is a document that give us the right to live as we please and the pursuit of happiness. it DOES NOT give anyone a “right to life” that requires somebody else provide it for you via gestation or COMPELS anyone to take care of you.

        • Steve

          “We hold these truths to be self-evident. That all men are created equal. That they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.”
          I believe the wording of that does say that life is a right which is inalienable.

    • Zarm

      But rights don’t come from nature. Nowhere in nature will you find a right to equal pay, or a right to bodily autonomy, either. If you’re looking to nature for rights, you’ve already forfeited the one you claim.

      Rights don’t come from the government or social consensus, either- else it is foolish to claim a right to equal pay, or gay or transgender
      rights, or any other right that isn’t being recognized, because those rights don’t *exist* (at least, until such time as the government/society decides to create them out of thin air, and they have just as much a right to decide they no longer exist at any time, since they are the ones who define what a right is.)

      The only source for rights- for moral law of any kind- exists in an external source; this is what the Declaration of Independence recognizes. That rights are external, and not ours to define… only to recognize and uphold.

      So tell me… where are *any* rights ‘written’ or stated? If you have any (and certainly, I believe you do!), where do they come from…?

      • gladys1071

        “But rights don’t come from nature. Nowhere in nature will you find a right to equal pay, or a right to bodily autonomy, either. If you’re looking to nature for rights, you’ve already forfeited the one you claim”

        that is exactly my point, you want to exact life as a right, i simply disagree with you and our laws disagree with you. Bodily autonomy and freedom from slavery is a higher right in this country.

        • Zarm

          But you’re missing the point. On what basis do you disagree? Where do rights come from?

          Why should you have bodily autonomy- a right that doesn’t exist in nature? Why should slavery have been wrong if rights are defined by the government or society, both of whom approved of society at the end? If either of those rights are really rights, then they have to come from somewhere other than nature or society/the government, because otherwise you *don’t* have a right to bodily autonomy, nor was slavery at all an infringement of anyone’s rights (because those rights didn’t exist until society or the government decided they did).

    • Steve

      You yourself are sliding down a slippery slope with your argument.
      It is predictable. If you argue against the life of the pre-born the argument naturally morphs into this. Otherwise it is self-contradictory.

      • gladys1071

        exactly, you believe a right to life is superior, i believe bodily autonomy is. I believe a woman can refuse to sustain a life in her body, you think she must. So their we are.

  • Steve

    Nor did it say that one could take away someone’s life for their convenience or choice.
    It said that life is an inalienable right; it did not say that convenience or preference was an inalienable right.
    And you really think that pregnancy is enslavement? Wow!

    • gladys1071

      “And you really think that pregnancy is enslavement? Wow!”

      If the woman in question does not want to be yes it is. If you pass laws banning abortion, you are basically saying that she must remain pregnant and that is a form of gestational enslavement or servitude.

    • gladys1071

      oh and you calling “pregnancy is inconvenience” is really minimizing pregnancy and childbirth. Pregnancy and childbirth are medical conditions that can be harmful to a woman’s health. I can list of all of the possible side effect and complications of pregnancy, but they are too many to name.

      An incovenience is running out of gas or being stuck in traffic, Pregnancy and childbirth are MOST CERTAINLY ALOT more than an incovenience.

      Spoken by someone who really does not care about women and her rights to refuse to gestate and incur those health risks.

      • Gina Dalfonzo

        Do not put thoughts in people’s heads, Gladys.

      • Gina Dalfonzo

        Please don’t put thoughts in people’s heads, Gladys.

        • gladys1071

          The noun inconvenience, pronounced “in-cun-VEE-nyent,” comes from the Latin word inconvenientia, from in-, meaning “not,” and convenient-, meaning “agreeing, fitting.” That meaning still holds true for inconvenience: something that doesn’t fit easily into your life, though it doesn’t cause suffering, either. Use it to describe small irritations, like the inconvenience of an airport delay.

          I don’t think people really know the definition of the word “inconvenient” or “inconvenience”

          To call pregnancy and childbirth and inconvenience is not really putting the proper weight to it.

          • Gina Dalfonzo

            Beside the point. Do not presume to tell someone else what he does or does not care about.