Tomorrow will be an important day for the pro-life community. According to the National Right to Life Committee (NRLC), the U.S. House of Representatives will hold a vote on Tuesday on the District of Columbia Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act (H.R. 3803). The legislation would ban abortion in the District of Columbia 20 weeks after fertilization and is based on findings that show that an unborn child has the capacity to feel great pain by that point in development, if not earlier. The one exception to the ban allows for an abortion when the life of the mother is in danger. Currently in the District of Columbia, abortion is legal for any reason up to the time of birth. Republican Congressman Trent Franks of Arizona sponsored the bill, which currently has 223 House cosponsors.
A poll conducted by The Polling Company, Inc./WomenTrend found nationwide support for the legislation. According to the nationwide poll, by more than a 2-to-1 margin, American adults reported that they would most likely vote for lawmakers who support the District of Columbia Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act. A separate poll question found that, by a 3-to-1 margin, American adults support legislation everywhere that bans abortion “after the point where substantial medical evidence says that the unborn child can feel pain.” You can see the poll questions and response totals here.
According to National Right to Life Committee Legislative Director Douglas Johnson, “this roll call will be a landmark – the House has never before voted on the question of whether to endorse legal abortion for any reason until birth. Under the Constitution, members of Congress and the president are ultimately accountable for the current abortion-until-birth policy. Any lawmaker who votes against this bill is voting to ratify the extreme policy currently in effect in the nation’s capital, where abortion is perfectly legal for any reason until the moment of birth. If we can achieve a big majority on this groundbreaking initial vote, it will lay the foundation to achieve legal protection for pain-capable unborn babies in the not-distant future.”
In a letter written by National Right to Life President Carol Tobias, it is noted that pro-abortion groups are fighting against this bill, with delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton (D) saying the bill “has the potential to eviscerate the entire Roe framework.” In the letter, which you can read here, Tobias urges pro-life Americans to contact their representative in the U.S. House, inform friends and family of the legislation, and make a donation the NRLC effort to see the bill passed. “Again – we are making progress, but we must overcome stiff resistance every step of the way,” Tobias wrote. “Please help us, and please urge others to do the same.