July 31, 2012(Key vote)
Title: District of Columbia Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act
Vote Smart's Synopsis:
Vote to pass a bill that prohibits an abortion in the District of Columbia if the probable post-fertilization age of a fetus is 20 weeks or more.
Prohibits an abortion, or attempted abortion, in the District of Columbia if the fetus has reached a “probable post-fertilization age” of 20 weeks or more (Sec. 3).
Requires a physician to determine the “probable post-fertilization age” of a fetus prior to performing, or attempting to perform, an abortion (Sec. 3).
Defines “probable post-fertilization age” as the age of the fetus since fertilization as determined by “reasonable” medical judgment (Sec. 3).
Specifies that an individual who performs, or attempts to perform, an abortion in violation of the provisions of this bill will be subject to a fine, a prison term of up to 2 years, or both (Sec. 3).
Exempts abortions performed after 20 weeks of gestation in cases where a pregnant woman's life is endangered by conditions arising from the pregnancy, not including psychological or emotional conditions, from the provisions of this bill (Sec. 3).
Requires an abortion after 20 weeks of gestation to be performed in a manner which will provide the best opportunity for the fetus to survive unless termination of the pregnancy in that manner would pose a greater risk of death or serious physical injury, not including psychological or emotional conditions, to the pregnant woman than another available method (Sec. 3).
NOTE: THIS VOTE WAS TAKEN UNDER A SUSPENSION OF THE RULES TO CUT OFF DEBATE EARLY AND VOTE TO PASS THE BILL, THEREBY REQUIRING A TWO-THIRDS MAJORITY FOR PASSAGE.