In the wake of legislation signed by Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner that would allow for the use of taxpayer money to cover an unlimited number of abortions anytime for any reason, members of the Illinois Republican Congressional Delegation voted to advance bipartisan legislation H.R. 36 -- the Unborn Pain-Capable Child Protection Act -- to restrict abortions 20 weeks or more after conception, the point at which unborn fetuses can feel pain.
Representatives Peter Roskam (IL-06), John Shimkus (IL-15), Randy Hultgren (IL-14), Rodney Davis (IL-13), Adam Kinzinger (IL-16), Darin LaHood (IL-18) and Mike Bost (IL-12) released the following statement:
"Henry Hyde championed the rights of the unborn through the Hyde Amendment, which expressly prohibits federal funding for abortions. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, from 2005 to 2014, the infant mortality rate in the United States dropped 15 percent. Much of this progress can be attributed to technological advancements in medicine that gives children born prematurely and with various medical issues a fighting chance. H.R. 36 protects children like Micah Pickering who was born at 22 weeks and is a thriving toddler today. Read his story here.
"In a reversal of long-standing Illinois policy, Governor Rauner has let down Illinois taxpayers and the unborn by signing H.B. 40. Today, the Illinois delegation stands together in our support of H.R. 36 to protect human life."
The Pain-Capable Unborn Child Act (H.R.36) restricts abortions 20 weeks or more after conception. Specifically, H.R.36 establishes criminal penalties for any person who performs or attempts an abortion on a fetus after the 20-week mark. In addition, this bill provides exceptions to save the life of the mother and in the case of rape or incest.
The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimates that H.R 36 would save roughly 10,000 lives each year. The U.S. is one of only seven countries in the world that allows elective abortion past 20 weeks (5 months), at which point scientific evidence suggests that the baby is capable of feeling excruciating pain during an abortion procedure. A poll released in January 2017 found that 74 percent of Americans want abortion restricted to, at most, the first trimester. At the state level, over a dozen states across the country have enacted 20-week bills.