House Republicans Pass the Fetal Pain Bill

Fetal Pain Bill

House Republicans voted overwhelmingly in favour of Rep. Trent Franks’ Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act aka the Fetal Pain bill.

The Fetal Pain bill limits a woman’s ability to seek an abortion after 20 weeks of conception – or 22 weeks of pregnancy. This is the time when, according to the bill’s supporters and former quack OB/GYN Michael Burgess, a fetus can begin to feel pain. Under current regulations, women in most states can get an abortion up to the point when the fetus becomes viable, which is generally considered to be about 24 weeks of pregnancy. Enter the Fetal Pain bill.

The bill passed with 228 to 196 votes in the House, but sadly, Trent Franks’ suggestion to add an amendment barring any exceptions in cases of rape or incest was not included in the final version of the bill. Franks was really pushing for the no exceptions rule, especially considering “the incidence of rape resulting in pregnancy is very low.” So in the end the bill included an exemption for women who get pregnant through rape or incest providing they first report the sexual assault to legal authorities.

Also failing to make it was Rep. Michael Burgess’ idea to set the abortion limit to 15 weeks instead of 20 weeks. According to the “former OB/GYN”, fetuses can feel pain and pleasure at this point and he’s seen sonograms of masturbating fetuses so he would know.

Still, the Republicans were very much on board with the Fetal Pain bill. House Speaker John Boehner, justified the vote as a response to the recent murder conviction of Philadelphia physician Kermit Gosnell. Gosnell was famously convicted for conducting illegal late-term abortion procedures in his not-so-sanitary medical clinic.

“Listen, after this Kermit Gosnell trial and some of the horrific acts that were going on, the vast majority of the American people believe in the substance of this bill, and so do I,” Boehner said.

Nevertheless the Fetal Pain bill has very little chance of being passed in the Democratic-led Senate and no chance at all of being signed by President Obama. In fact Obama called the bill an “assault on a woman’s right to choose.” So basically that whole debate was a waste of time.

Via: USA Today

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