Significant Majority of House Votes to Stop Late Term Abortions of Pain-Capable Babies

Press Release

By:  Chris Smith
Date: July 31, 2012
Location: Washington, DC

A significant majority in the House of Representatives, 220-154, today voted for legislation to prohibit abortions in the District of Columbia on pain-capable, unborn children after 22 weeks gestation. The bill, H.R. 3803, the "District of Columbia Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act," was authored by Rep. Trent Franks (AZ-02).

"Pain. We all dread it. Avoid it. Even fear it. And go to extraordinary lengths to mitigate its severity and duration," said Congressman Chris Smith (NJ-04), Co-chair of the Congressional Pro-life Caucus, on the House Floor. "By now, many Americans know that abortion methods are violent and include dismemberment of a child's fragile body, chemical poisoning and hypodermic needles to the baby's heart. But the relatively new scientific understanding that unborn babies are forced to endure excruciating pain in the performance of later term abortions--and perhaps even earlier--should shock us.

"Children not only die from abortion--they suffer. This is a wakeup call to all Americans: unborn children feel pain," Smith said. Click here to read Smith's remarks.

H.R. 3803 has 222 House cosponsors. But because the vote was taken under a suspension of the rules, passage requires a two-thirds majority vote. The bill came up short of the needed two-thirds vote, and did not pass.

Smith said the most common method of abortion used in the late second trimester is known as "D&E," a dismemberment abortion, involving using a long steel tool to grasp and tear off, the arms and legs of the developing baby--after which the skull is crushed and removed.