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House GOP Tables Abortion-Pain Bill

Yesterday I blogged about H.R. 36, the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, a bill that would ban abortions 20 weeks after fertilization based on studies that babies are capable of feeling pain at this stage. Lawmakers were scheduled to bring this bill to the floor today for a debate and a vote.

Last night, GOP leaders tabled the bill. The Blaze reports that some of the female lawmakers were concerned about turning off younger voters with a bill designed to protect unborn babies.

But Rep. Chris Smith (R-N.J.) said Wednesday night that the legislation is not dead, and will soon be tweaked and brought back up for a vote.

“I would just briefly mention that the pain-capable legislation is only delayed,” Smith said in the House Rules Committee. “It’ll be up on the floor, it’ll be up on the floor soon.”

“That bill, I promise you, will be back on the floor very, very shortly,” he said.

Let’s hope so.

One contentious part of the bill is the rape exception. The bill would ban 20-week abortions except in cases of danger to the mother’s life, rape, or incest of a minor. The rape or incest must be reported to the appropriate law enforcement and government agency authorities before the abortion. This supposedly prevents false rape claims just to obtain an abortion.

If a majority GOP Congress can’t or won’t pass this abortion-pain bill, such bills will never be passed.

All is not lost. The House will vote today on the No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion and Abortion Insurance Full Disclosure Act of 2015, with the usual danger, rape, and incest exceptions. As I’ve expressed before on this blog and elsewhere, unborn babies conceived in rape or incest also deserve protection.

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