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Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC


Mrs. BLACK. I thank the gentlelady for yielding.

Madam Speaker, when I first became a nurse over 40 years ago, I took a vow to ``devote myself to the welfare of those committed to my care.'' And it is in this spirit of both protecting life and women's health that I'm proud to rise today in support of H.R. 1797, the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act.

Now, this bipartisan legislation would ban late-term abortion after 20 weeks. I want to say that again. It would ban late-term abortion after 20
weeks, with the exception provided for when the life of the mother is endangered.

H.R. 1797 is based on undisputed scientific evidence which tells us that unborn children at 20 weeks and older can feel pain--these are babies, they can feel pain--and that late-term abortions pose severe health risks also for the mother. For example, a woman seeking an abortion at 20 weeks is 35 times more likely to die from an abortion than she was in the first trimester. There are medical reasons for this. At 21 weeks or more, a woman is 91 times more likely to die from an abortion than she was in the first trimester.

Despite these undisputed facts about a baby's level of development and a woman's health, there is currently no Federal law to protect pain-capable unborn children or their mothers by restricting late-term abortions--even at a day and age when we're seeing premature babies that are born at 22 weeks that survive.

As a society, we celebrate the birth of babies whether it's prematurely born at 22 weeks or delivered at full term, and we hope and pray for good health of that baby and the mother.

Today, with that same spirit in mind, I urge my colleagues to join me in celebrating and protecting life of both the baby and the mother by passing H.R. 1797.


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