Alabama congressional Republicans cosponsor Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Act
The Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Act was introduced this week in the U.S. House of Representatives, with all Alabama Republicans in the chamber supporting the pro-life bill for the 117th Congress.
Congressmen Jerry Carl (AL-01), Barry Moore (AL-02), Mike Rogers (AL-03), Robert Aderholt (AL-04) and Mo Brooks (AL-05) are listed as original cosponsors on the legislation. A spokesperson for Congressman Gary Palmer (AL-06) stated that Palmer cosponsored the bill last Congress and plans to do so again this time around.
“Congressman Palmer still strongly supports this bill,” the spokesperson wrote in an email.
The legislation has been referred to the House Judiciary Committee. During the 116th Congress, this same Democrat-controlled committee referred the bill to a subcommittee, where the measure stalled and died.
The bill, sponsored by Congressman Chris Smith (R-NJ), would make performing or attempting to perform an abortion a crime at or after the 20-week mark of a pregnancy.
Women who undergo or attempt to undergo such a prohibited abortion would not be prosecuted for violating or conspiring to violate the provisions of the bill. Instead, abortion providers would be criminally liable. Violators would subject to a fine, a prison term of up to five years or both.
The legislation does provide exceptions for an abortion (1) that is necessary to save the life of the pregnant woman, or (2) when the pregnancy is the result of rape or incest. A physician who performs or attempts to perform an abortion under an exception must comply with specified requirements under the bill.
“I’m proud to be an original cosponsor of Rep. Chris Smith’s Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, which would prohibit most abortions after the unborn baby is 20 weeks old,” stated Carl, the freshman member representing Southwest Alabama. “Science shows us that by twenty weeks, unborn babies killed by an abortion experience horrific pain and suffering. This is an unconscionable violation of basic human rights, and we as a society must do better. I urge my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to join my colleagues and me in supporting this common-sense legislation so together we can build a culture that respects the precious gift of life.”
Moore, who is also serving his first term, commented, “Currently, there are seven other countries, including China and North Korea, that allow abortions five months into pregnancy— a time when unborn children can feel pain. This is sickening, and we have a fundamental responsibility to safeguard a child’s fundamental right to life and protect these unborn babies from the undue cruelty suffered during an abortion.”
Veteran members of Alabama’s delegation also chimed in.
“I am proud to once again cosponsor this legislation,” said Rogers, the ranking member of the House Armed Services Committee. “At 20 weeks in a mother’s womb, a fetus has developed into a baby that has started moving and can feel pain. This bill will protect those precious, innocent lives and keep them safe from this cruel pain and suffering. As a father and a Christian, I will always defend the right to life.”
The dean of the Yellowhammer State’s House delegation, Aderholt, remarked, “I’ve made it a point in my time in Congress to work to protect the most vulnerable among us. There is no one more vulnerable than an unborn child, who is completely defenseless. It’s difficult for me to understand how even the most ardent supporters of abortion could support abortion after which time the unborn child can actually feel pain. I urge my Congressional colleagues to support this effort.”
“All medical and scientific evidence establishes that new life begins at conception,” added Brooks. “Only science deniers say differently. I am pro-life and oppose killing unborn children. No unborn child should have to endure the excruciating pain associated with dismemberment or other forms of abortion. As such, I fight to protect America’s unborn children with my vote in Congress. Further, I will vote against forcing taxpayers to pay for other people’s abortions.”
The Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Act’s introduction in the House came after the Senate version was introduced on January 27 by Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC). Senators Richard Shelby (R-AL) and Tommy Tuberville (R-AL) are listed as original cosponsors of that bill.
That unanimous support from Alabama’s Senate delegation is in stark contrast to then-Senator Doug Jones (D-AL) voting against the bill during the 116th Congress.
Sean Ross is the editor of Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @sean_yhn