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Public Statements

District of Columbia Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC


Mr. MACK. Mr. Speaker, today the House of Representatives is taking action to protect the most vulnerable children in our nation's capital. H.R. 3803, the ``District of Columbia Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act,'' would limit the District's extreme policy of allowing abortion for any reason, at any time, up until the moment of birth. Based on substantial research showing that a child has the capacity to feel pain starting at 20 weeks of development, we cannot in good conscience allow the District's policy of permitting late-term abortions to stand. Although Congress has repeatedly prohibited the use of taxpayer money for abortions in the capital, the District currently has one of the most far-reaching abortion policies in the nation, permitting abortion on demand throughout all nine months of pregnancy.

H.R. 3803 would ban abortions of pain-capable unborn children except to save the life of the mother. Under the Constitution, Congress and the President have ultimate responsibility for the governance of the capital, as Article I, Section 8, states that ``Congress shall ..... exercise exclusive legislation in all cases whatsoever, over such District.'' As a member of Congress who believes in the sanctity of human life, I am a strong supporter and co-sponsor of this important legislation. I deeply regret that I must miss the vote on final passage, and would have proudly voted yes.


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