Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Act Fails to Clear Senate

Melanie Arter | January 29, 2018 | 8:25pm EST
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(  - A bill that makes it illegal to abort a baby after 20 weeks of pregnancy failed to clear the U.S. Senate after Democrats blocked the bill from further consideration.

In a vote of 51 to 46, the Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Act bill failed to get the 60 votes necessary to advance.

President Donald Trump reacted to the news, saying it was “disappointing that despite support from a bipartisan majority of U.S. Senators, this bill was blocked from further consideration.”

During his speech at the 45th annual March for Life, the president called on the Senate to pass the measure, calling it “important legislation that would protect our most vulnerable.”

“Scientific studies have demonstrated that babies in the womb feel pain at twenty weeks. The vote by the Senate rejects scientific fact and puts the United States out of the mainstream in the family of nations, in which only 7 out of 198 nations, including China and North Korea, allow elective abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy,” Trump said.

“We must defend those who cannot defend themselves. I urge the Senate to reconsider its decision and pass legislation that will celebrate, cherish, and protect life,” he added.

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), who sponsored the bill, issued a statement after the vote, saying, “We didn’t win the vote today, but we won hearts and minds. For more than three hours we debated on the floor of the Senate whether our great nation should end abortion on demand after 20 weeks.

“The arguments made on our behalf by my colleagues – including Senators Joni Ernst (R-Iowa) and Deb Fischer (R-Nebraska) – were powerful and compelling. The arguments made against rang hollow,” he said.

“I have not given up this fight and I hope you will not either. Together we must press on and continue pushing for protection of the unborn.

Graham said the vote “represents real progress for the pro-life movement.”

“The more we discuss this matter, the more support we get from the American people. Similar to the fight to pass the Partial Birth Abortion Ban Act and the Unborn Victims of Violence Act, it’s only a matter of time until we secure the votes to pass the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act,” he said.

“I truly believe that an overwhelming majority of the American people do not want our country to allow abortion in the fifth month of pregnancy. It’s a sad fact that the United States remains one of only seven nations that allows abortion on demand in the fifth month of pregnancy. I intend to keep pushing for this legislation to become law so that the United States can get out of this infamous ‘Club of Seven,’” Graham added.

Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) said he was “truly shocked by those who declare it ‘extreme’ to oppose late-term abortions that we know to cause fetal pain.”

“The facts on this matter are indisputable: Democrats have willfully ignored science for the sake of political expediency. As for myself, I was proud to vote for the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, and I am eager to continue fighting on behalf of the unborn,” Hatch said.

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