(CNSNews.com) -- Rep. Diane Black (R-Tenn.) said Wednesday that a human being conceived as a result of rape is “a life,” and added that she is “a no-exceptions person” when it comes to defending life. She also noted that polls show Americans know that at 20 weeks (five months) a “baby can live outside of the womb, and “that over 60 percent – and that’s Democratic and Republican -- they agree that we shouldn’t be taking that life.”
At the Capitol, CNSNews.com asked Black: “Does a human being conceived in rape also have a right to life?”
Black said, “After 20 weeks, it is a viable -- you know, for me, I am a no-exceptions person.”
“But after 20 weeks and what we know, science, there is no doubt about it now,” she said. “This is a human life that can live outside of the womb. It deserves a right to live.”
“This is a human rights issue, and as one of only seven [countries] in the entire world that allows abortion after 20 weeks, I think we have to evaluate where we are as a nation in valuing life. And again, science tells us that this is a life,” Black added.
CNSNews.com followed up with Black, “Do you think there’s any biological difference between a child that’s conceived in, I guess, the ‘normal’ way and a child that’s conceived in rape, as tragic as the circumstances may be?”
“Do I think there’s a difference? That’s a life,” Black answered.
“To me, as I’ve already said, I mean, I’m a no-exceptions person,” said the congresswoman. “But as a society, we see in the polls that people agree that once gestation reaches 20 weeks, and that baby can live outside of the womb, that over 60 percent – and that’s Democratic and Republican they agree -- that we shouldn’t be taking that life.”
The House voted 242 to 184 to approve the Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Act on Wednesday, May 13. The bill puts a national ban on most abortions after 20 weeks gestation except in cases of rape, incest or when the mother’s life is in danger. Four Democrats voted in favor of the bill, while four Republicans voted against it, including Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen (R-N.J.), Rep. Richard Hanna (R-N.Y.), Rep. Bob Dold (R-Ill.) and Rep. Charles Dent (R-Penn.).
The bill also requires doctors performing an abortion for a rape or incest victim to “do so only in the manner which, in reasonable medical judgment, provides the best opportunity for the unborn child to survive.”
The only exception to this requirement, the bill states, is if attempting to save the baby during an abortion would result in “the death of the pregnant woman” or the substantial and irreversible physical impairment of a major bodily function, not including psychological or emotional conditions, of the pregnant woman.”
The bill also requires that a “physician trained in neonatal resuscitation be present if, in reasonable medical judgment, the pain-capable unborn child has the potential to survive outside the womb.”
The revised bill also makes some revisions to the earlier version’s rape exceptions, which required the woman to report the rape to law enforcement before seeking an abortion after 20 weeks. The amended bill still places the same requirements on minors who become pregnant as the result of a rape, but allows an adult woman to receive an abortion after 20 weeks if she reported the rape, or has received medical treatment or counseling at least 48 hours prior to the abortion being performed.