The US House of Representatives will consider H.R. 36, the “Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act,” next week. Pro-life Members have rallied around new safeguards for the mother and the baby. The legislation that recognizes unborn children’s capacity to feel pain at 20 weeks and provides legal protection at that point.
The bill as scheduled for the floor contains numerous new pro-life provisions as well as a requirement that adult sexual assault victims receive medical treatment or counseling at least 48 hours prior to a late abortion. In addition, such treatment or counseling must be provided by physicians or counselors that are outside of the abortion industry. In cases of rape or incest of a minor, the abuse must first be reported to either social service or law enforcement.
Other new strengthening provisions include a born-alive infant protection requirement that requires a second doctor be present and prepared to provide care to the child if he or she is born alive and that the child must receive the same level of care as would any other premature infant. The baby must then be transported and admitted to a hospital.
The woman is also empowered with a right to sue if the law is not followed, and is provided with an informed consent form that notifies her of the age of her baby and the requirements under the law. Abortionists are explicitly required to follow state mandatory reporting laws and state parental involvement laws.
Finally, abortionists are required to report any late abortions done under the exceptions to the Center for Disease Control and such data will be compiled into an annual public report.