Congressman Pitts Supports Unborn Child Pain Awareness Act
Congressman Joe Pitts (R, PA-16) today voted for H.R. 6099, the Unborn Child Pain Awareness Act of 2006. Recognizing the significant body of medical research showing that babies in utero are able to feel pain, this bill requires abortion providers to give information on fetal pain to mothers seeking an abortion after 20 weeks of pregnancy. It also requires abortion providers to give mothers the option of anesthesia for the baby, a common practice used for in utero surgeries.
"Modern medical technology has shown us that unborn babies respond inside the womb to both positive and negative stimuli. Unfortunately, too many mothers seeking an abortion are not fully informed about the ability of their unborn baby to feel pain during an abortion procedure," Congressman Pitts said. "Given how troubling it is to think of a defenseless child being subjected to undue pain, it only makes sense that mothers be fully informed before making a decision about an abortion."
H.R. 6099, the Unborn Child Pain Awareness Act of 2006, serves to inform a woman who is seeking an abortion at least 20 weeks after fertilization of the development of the unborn child in her womb. The act does this by:
* Requiring those who perform abortions on unborn children at least 20 weeks after fertilization to inform the woman seeking an abortion of the medical evidence that the unborn child feels pain through a brochure developed by the Department of Health and Human Services.
* Requiring that the woman sign a consent form indicating that she has received the information and indicating whether or not she has requested anesthesia for the unborn child.
This bill only affects those abortions that occur at least 20 weeks after fertilization. Nothing in the bill would deny that unborn children may experience pain prior to 20 weeks after fertilization.
The bill received majority support in the House, but failed to pass under rules requiring two-thirds support for passage. The final vote was 250-162.