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.