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Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC


Mrs. ROBY. Madam Chairman, I thank the gentlelady for yielding.

I rise to support H.R. 1797, the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act.

This bill would at last prohibit dangerous, late-term abortions of unborn children at 20 weeks. That's the stage of development which we feel pain. And I say ``we,'' Madam Chairman, for a reason. Many supporters of this bill are taking to Facebook and Twitter using the hashtag #TheyFeelPain to illustrate the brutal reality of late-term abortions.

I applaud their efforts, and I appreciate the many notes of encouragement I've received from constituents back home in support of this bill. I certainly hope that they will keep those Facebook posts coming to get the word out about what we are doing here today.

I use the phrase ``we feel pain'' because I'm afraid too often we speak of this issue like it's someone else we're talking about, some other species. Madam Chairman, we are talking about human beings--human beings--babies far along enough in development to feel touch, to respond to touch. We're talking about us.

We were all 20 weeks at one time. Every Member in this Chamber was. We all reached a particular point of development at which the prayerful hope for life becomes precious potential and viability.

These babies right now are in NICUs all over this country. Having been premature, the babies are laying in a protective environment trying to build stable breath, reaching to hold the fingers of their mommies and daddies. Yet, right now, under Federal law, other babies at 20 weeks are still at risk of being brutally, mercilessly, and painfully killed.

Madam Chairman, this must end. This must end because we feel pain.

I reached out just a few hours ago via Facebook, Madam Chairman, to my constituents to ask for stories about children that were born at or near 20 weeks. I want to share one. A constituent named Terry writes that her baby was born at 24 weeks, weighing only 2 pounds, 3 ounces. After struggling initially, her child grew strong and healthy. That was 19 years ago. Her son is now an adult living out west.

I ask my colleagues to support and vote ``yes'' for H.R. 1797.


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