Yesterday, Rep. Ralph Hall (TX-04) voted in support of H.R. 1797, the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, of which he is an original co-sponsor. The bill passed the House 228-196.
"I have always supported and respected the sanctity of life through the support of pro-life legislation, and today's bill takes important steps to protect women and children from unsafe and dangerous acts from people who would put them at serious risk by performing late-term abortions," said Hall.
Medical evidence shows that at 20 weeks -- the beginning of the sixth month -- the unborn can feel intense pain. Late-term abortions conducted after 20 weeks also put mothers at significantly higher risk.
"Dangerous late-term abortions are not rare occurrences, but present a relevant and serious problem that must be addressed," Hall continued. A Guttmacher study from 2005 found at least 15,600 late-term abortions were performed in the U.S. that year, and last month Dr. Kermit Gosnell -- who murdered both live babies during late-term abortions and women through unsafe medical practices -- was convicted of three counts of murder, one count of involuntary manslaughter, and was sentenced to life in prison.
"Today's bill would protect women and children from unsafe, unethical late-term abortion procedures and from criminals who would do them severe harm," Hall added.
The Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act prohibits abortions of the unborn who are twenty weeks past fertilization or later. The bill provides exceptions for when the life of the mother is in danger, or for pregnancies resulting from rape and/or incest if the crime is reported.