Does that Baby Feel Pain?
Many people are all aflutter about the news that the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, also known as H.R. 36, is now on the Congressional calendar and—by the time you read this—will have been voted on in the U.S. House of Representatives.
There has been immense publicity about the bill, with one writer commenting, “The legislation would establish a national limit on abortion at 20 weeks after conception—five months into pregnancy—which is the gestational age at which infants can of feel pain (sic) and survive long-term if born prematurely.”
As usual, the abortion cartel is up in arms. Planned Parenthood’s president, Cecile Richards, says, “This is an unconstitutional ban, and this is something we expect to defeat. . . . The people of this country believe Congress should be focused on making people’s lives better, and they shouldn’t be involved in making personal medical decisions for women and their doctors.”
But something about this bill simply does not smell right to those of us who believe that the word “ban” means totally forbidden. H.R. 36 states: “There is substantial medical evidence that an unborn child is capable of experiencing pain at least by 20 weeks after fertilization, if not earlier.” So a baby who is 19 weeks gestational age or younger—and who can feel the pain of the abortion being committed against him—will not be protected by this bill. Perhaps supporters of this bill believe this is the best they can do, but the authors should have been more sensitive to all of the medical facts available to them about the preborn child and his pain level.
Pro-lifers have known since the days of Dr. Bernard Nathanson’s Silent Scream video that there is evidence that a preborn baby as young as 12 weeks gestational age will move away from the deadly instrument invading his territory with the intent to kill him.
So, the bill does not protect all babies who feel pain—just some of them. This is just one problem with the alleged pro-life bill. There are others. The bill focuses on restricting abortions committed at 20 weeks gestation or later. However, the bill contains language that allows the commission of abortion on babies 20 weeks of age or older if “in reasonable medical judgment, the abortion is necessary to save the life of a pregnant woman whose life is endangered by a physical disorder, physical illness, or physical injury, including a life-endangering physical condition caused by or arising from the pregnancy itself, but not including psychological or emotional conditions.” Further, this bill permits abortion of “viable” babies if they are created through criminal rape or incest.
So, the bill does not even protect all preborn children after 20 weeks—just some of them.
The bill is a sham, pure and simple. By writing these words I will make no friends in the pro-life movement; but my task, in fact my duty, is to share the facts and allow people to think for themselves about the crucial question: What does it mean to be pro-life in 2015? Have we become so desperate for a political feather in our collective cap that we are willing to stoop to the same sort of deceptive tactics as our foes?
Has politics taken over our ethics, our principles, and our fundraising? Millions of faithful grassroots pro-lifers across the country are being deceived into believing that a bill that only protects some babies some of the time is to be celebrated as a pro-life victory. Everyone is rushing to get “the best we can do” without understanding the impact those actions will have on the pro-life young people who are just entering this battle. With all the celebration, the only message these young people receive is that it’s okay to let certain babies die.
The positions of the politically-oriented pro-life groups on H.R. 36 would be much more plausible if the message they were giving to their supporters was to tell Congress to pass H.R. 36 this week and then, next week, pass H.R. 816 declaring that “that the right to life guaranteed by the Constitution is vested in . . . each and every member of the species homo sapiens at all stages of life, including the moment of fertilization, cloning, or other moment at which an individual member of the human species comes into being.” But they NEVER talk about that bill.
It concerns me greatly as one of the leaders in this struggle for the past 40-plus years that we have lost our way. In that context, I am reminded about the words Christ spoke to his disciples: “Amen, I say to you, whatever you did for one of these least brothers of mine, you did for me.”
Thinking about each of the “least” of these, I am compelled to ask those who are aggressively pushing this pain-capable bill: Does God feel pain when a child He created is killed if his daddy is a criminal rapist? What about if he were conceived in an act of incest? How about if his mom is ill and he is perceived as the unjust aggressor? Does God feel pain if His preborn child is 12 weeks old, 12 days old, or 12 seconds old?
Abortion affects everyone. Dr. Bernard Nathanson showed that the child in the womb silently screamed and tried desperately to get away just before his life was terminated. Will we sit silently while our nation suffers? Will we watch as the lives of mothers, fathers, grandparents, and siblings are crushed because some consider murder a “choice”? We must change the hearts and the mindsets of people today. We must make them understand the pain. We cannot live in silence.
Abortion kills. Abortion hurts. Period.
PRAY for a genuine end to all abortion from creation onward. No preborn child should be left behind!
Now that the bill has passed the House, we encourage you to write to your senators, using facts from this commentary, and explain that the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act is flawed and at this time is not being defined as a pro-life bill by American Life League.
In addition, write to your members of Congress and point out that, now that H.R. 36 has passed, it is time to put H.R. 816 on the agenda and move it forward for a vote.