The US House of Representatives has just passed H.R. 36, the “Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act” by a vote of 242-184-1. 238 Republicans and 4 Democrats (Cuellar, Langevin, Lipinski and Peterson) voted yes. 180 Democrats and 4 Republicans (Dent, Dold, Frelinghuysen, Hanna) voted no. One Republican (Hice) voted present. The House also defeated a motion to recommit that would have added a health exception to the bill by a vote of 181-246 with 3 Democrats voting no (Cuellar, Lipinski, Peterson).
Here are some video clips of members advocating for passage:
- Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA) @cathymcmorris
- Rep. Mia Love (R-UT) @RepMiaLove
- Rep. Martha Roby (R-AL) @RepMarthaRoby
- Rep. Andy Harris (R-MD) @RepAndyHarris
- Rep. Vicky Hartzler (R-MO) @RepHartzler
- Rep. Mimi Walters (R-CA) @RepMimiWalters
- Rep. Steve King (R-IA) @SteveKingIA
- Rep. Kevin Cramer (R-ND) @RepKevinCramer
- Rep. Jeff Fortenberry (R-NE) @JeffFortenberry
- Rep. Ann Wagner (R-MO) @RepAnnWagner
- Rep. Chris Smith on the bill (R-NJ) @RepChrisSmith
- Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R-LA) @SteveScalise
- Rep. Trent Franks on the bill (R-AZ) @RepTrentFranks
- Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) @SpeakerBoehner
- Rep. Diane Black (R-TN) @RepDianeBlack
- Rep. Mike Kelly (R-PA) @MikeKellyPA
- Rep. Tim Huelskamp (R-KS) @CongHuelskamp
- Rep. Ralph Abraham (R-LA) @RepAbraham
- Rep. Dan Benishek (R-MI) @CongressmanDan
- Rep. Charles Boustany (R-LA) @RepBoustany
- Rep. Chris Smith on the rule (R-NJ) @RepChrisSmith
- Rep. Sean Duffy (R-WI) @RepSeanDuffy
- Rep. Trent Franks on the rule (R-AZ) @RepTrentFranks
- Rep. Doug Lamborn (R-CO) @RepDLamborn
- Rep. Kristi Noem (R-SD) @RepKristiNoem
- Rep. Jacki Walorski (R-IN) @RepWalorski
- Rep. Virginia Foxx (R-NC) @RepVirginiaFoxx
- Rep. Joe Pitts (R-PA) @RepJoePitts
- Rep. Glen “GT” Thompson (R-PA) @CongressmanGT
The office of House Speaker John Boehner provided a crisp summary of why Americans want this bill:
This week marks two years since the conviction of Philadelphia abortionist Kermit Gosnell, who was found guilty of murdering three babies by severing their spinal cords following unsuccessful abortions. It’s estimated that Gosnell similarly killed hundreds of other live babies over decades at his clinic, which the local NBC News affiliate dubbed a “House of Horrors”:
In addition to the murder charges, the 72-year-old [Gosnell] was found guilty Monday of involuntary manslaughter in the overdose death of former patient Karnamaya Mongar.
Gosnell was also found guilty of several other crimes including one count of infanticide, two counts of conspiracy, 21 of 24 counts of abortion of an unborn child of 24 weeks or more and 208 of 227 counts of violation of informed consent of an abortion.
Self-described liberal Kirsten Powers wrote at the time:
What we need to learn from the Gosnell case is that late-term abortion is infanticide. Legal infanticide. That so many people in the media seem untroubled by the idea that 12 inches in one direction is a “private medical decision” and 12 inches in the other direction causes people to react in horror, should be troubling. …
[M]edical advances since Roe v. Wade have made it clear to me that late-term abortion is not a moral gray area, and we need to stop pretending it is. No six-months-pregnant woman is picking out names for her “fetus.” It’s a baby. Let’s stop playing Orwellian word games. We are talking about human beings here.
Science and modern medicine show that unborn babies are capable of feeling pain by 20 weeks, or five months, in the womb.
That’s why the House will vote today on the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act (H.R. 36), which protects unborn children from abortion after five months.
According to public opinion surveys, a majority of Americans – including majorities of independents, women, and people 18-29 years old – support such a measure:
- 60 percent of adults (including 59 percent of women) prefer restrictions on abortion after 20 weeks. (Quinnipiac, 11/14)
- 56 percent of adults (including 51 percent of Democrats) back restrictions on abortion after 20 weeks of pregnancy, with an additional 10 percent supporting even greater limits. (Washington Post-ABC News, 7/13)
- 59 percent of Americans either strongly or somewhat favor a federal law banning most abortions after 20 weeks. (Huffington Post/YouGov, 6/13)
- 52 percent of people 18-29 years old support banning virtually all abortions nationwide after 20 weeks. (United Technologies/National Journal, 6/13)
- 64 percent support a law prohibiting abortion after 20 weeks. (The Polling Company, 3/13)
- 64 percent think abortion should generally be illegal after the first three months of pregnancy. (Gallup, 12/12)
“We have a moral obligation to defend the defenseless,” Speaker Boehner said when the House passed similar legislation in 2013. “When we affirm the dignity of life, we affirm our commitment to freedom.”