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District of Columbia Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC


Mrs. ROBY. I thank the gentleman.

Mr. Speaker, I rise today in support of H.R. 3803, the District of Columbia Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, of which I'm a proud cosponsor.

In sitting here listening to debate, I want to get a few things straight. First of all, I am a woman, and I have not declared war on myself. Second of all, this is not a direct challenge to Roe v. Wade. This is a direct challenge to cruelty to unborn children. Currently, the policy in D.C. legally allows abortion for any reason until the moment of birth.

Mr. Speaker, Erin and Blake Hamby, a couple from my home State of Alabama, were pregnant with their second daughter when Erin had complications at 22 weeks. And at only 25 weeks and 2 days, their little baby, Faith, was born on January 8, weighing only 1 pound, 14 ounces, but every bit the same baby as my own children, Margaret and George, who were born full term.

Faith spent 2 1/2 months in the NICU, and both she and her parents struggled daily, but that tiny baby--that tiny baby--is now 6 1/2 months old and thriving.

In the District of Columbia, Faith could have been aborted not only at the point at which she was born, but also any day up to the day of her birth. H.R. 3803 prohibits abortions in D.C. after 20 weeks' gestation, a time frame based on scientific evidence that the unborn child can experience pain by at least at this stage of development.

In June of 2011, Alabama became the fifth State to pass a similar measure by banning physicians from performing abortions after 20 weeks.

I applaud my home State of Alabama in its admirable fight to protect human life, such as Faith's when she arrived earlier than expected into this world. I am proud to vote in support of H.R. 3803 tonight, and I encourage my colleagues to join me.


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