Republicans in the U.S. House and U.S. Senate have introduced legislation to protect children and their moms from the violence of abortion, starting at 15 weeks of pregnancy.
As expected, Democratic leaders are united in their opposition to it, because they (unlike the American people) want abortions right through the full duration of pregnancy.
Other critics seem to miss the fact that the Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization decision did not take away the right of Congress to legislate on this matter; on the contrary, it strengthened it.
The opinion released by the U.S. Supreme Court on June 24 very clearly leaves abortion policy to "the people and their elected representatives," including members of the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate.
In fact, as the Dobbs case was moving toward resolution, more sitting members of Congress than in any time in history called for the reversal of Roe v. Wade, 410 U.S. 113 (1973), through amicus briefs filed with the Court.
One brief alone was submitted on behalf of 184 House members and 44 senators.
These lawmakers were asking the justices to let them do the job for which they were elected, that is, to legislate.
That’s exactly what the Dobbs decision allows.
The district court in Mississippi, where the 15-week bill originated, ignored the evidence on which legislators in that state based their decision to pass the Gestational Age Act, evidence like the babies’ ability to feel pain.
The district court was able to ignore this evidence because they were looking only at the presumed "Constitutional right to abortion" in Roe that prevented protecting babies prior to viability.
That barrier isn’t there anymore. Roe knocked it down.
Even while Roe was still casting its shadow over our nation, Congress has legislated — with the wide support of the pro-life movement — to protect babies at 20 weeks and beyond through the Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Act.
The reason it failed to pass for the last several iterations of Congress can be summed up in two words: Senate Democrats.
Those Democrats are still in office, but maybe not for much longer.
In the meantime, let’s take another look at the bill that would protect babies at 15 weeks and beyond
When he introduced the bill in the Senate in September, Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., said, "I think we should have a law at the federal level that would say, after 15 weeks, no abortion on demand except in cases of rape, incest or to save the life of the mother. And that should be where America is at."
The 15-week bill would bring the U.S. more in line with the rest of the world, where babies later in pregnancy are protected from abortion.
When Pro-Life Caucus leaders introduced the same bill in the House, Rep. Chris Smith, R-N.J., said, "Thanks to incredible progress made in science, we now know that by at least 15 weeks unborn babies killed by abortion experience excruciating suffering and physical pain.
"Our legislation responds to the scientific advances already recognized in fetal medicine by increasing human rights protection for these children."
Smith pointed to a recent poll from Harvard University that found 72 percent of Americans — including 75 percent of women — oppose abortion after 15 weeks of pregnancy, and yet the United States kills 55,800 children annually past that limit.
Given that level of support for protection of these later-term babies, it’s all the more surprising that Democrats are so determined to pass a radical abortion bill that would allow abortion until the moment of birth.
The House has passed the badly named Women’s Health Protection Act twice. The reason this bill did not become law can be summed up in two words: Senate Republicans.
Politically, the Democrats are trying to scare people into believing that Republicans will ban all abortion. But putting forth this 15-week bill, along with its inherent merits, gives candidates and voters a concrete, measurable policy goal to point to, as an alternative to the extreme abortion-without-limits stance of the Democrats.
Let’s support the 15-week bill, not as the final goal of the pro-life movement, but as the next step. While leaving intact the laws of those states that have chosen to protect unborn babies prior to 15 weeks, this bill would help curb the radical position of certain states that have abortion without limits and other states that have made unrestricted abortion a goal for the near future.
The first step is to express support for the bill, and the second is to elect, on Nov. 8, the congressional members who would vote to pass it.
Just to be clear: Every baby deserves protection and we will continue to work toward the day when no abortion is permissible. Supporting the Protecting Unborn Children from Late-Term Abortions Act doesn’t deny that or prevent us from getting there.
What it does is to save us from an extremism that the American people have never supported and that for half a century has been destroying children, their families, and the moral fabric of America. We can do better.
Fr. Frank Pavone is one of the most prominent anti-abortion leaders globally. Read Fr. Frank Pavone Reports — More Here.
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