Senate vote on Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act “not a defeat, but a stepping stone towards victory”By Dave Andrusko
Yesterday 42 United States senators—40 Democrats and two Republicans—voted against advancing the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act. At his snarky best, Senator Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) dismissed the attempt to make the Senate actually vote on H.R. 36 as a “show vote designed to honor the political wish lists of extremists.” Let’s consider for a moment what actually happened yesterday and what it may portend.
First, while 54 senators (51 Republicans and three Democrats) voted to take the bill up for debate, 60 votes were required. That’s the way the Senate now works on “controversial” legislation.
What was it that we “extremists” wanted the Senate to vote on? What “extreme” legislation did H.R. 36 represent?
Here’s how Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), the chief Senate sponsor of the legislation, characterized the Senate’s action (or inaction) in a statement issued Tuesday:
“America is at her best when she’s standing up for the least among us,” said Graham. “Even though we were not successful, this votes marks an important milestone when it comes to protecting the unborn. We took the first vote in the Senate and were able to see where every Senator stands. Today, the battle begins working to bring more supporters to our cause.
“There are only seven countries that allow wholesale abortions at the 20-week period including China and North Korea,” said Graham. “We should no longer be part of that club.”
At the age of 20 weeks or five months post-fertilization, scientific evidence tells us an unborn child can feel pain. Pain medication is administered directly to the unborn child in second-trimester fetal surgery, in addition to anesthesia. The unborn child shows physical, chemical, brain and stress responses demonstrating pain at this stage of development.
The Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act is based on science, has overwhelming public support, and is necessary to protect unborn children from painful, and untimely deaths.
But when something that ought to have been moved along for a vote doesn’t, it’s easy to be disheartened. That is why Sen. Graham’s last paragraph is so important to remember:
“I view today’s vote as the start of a journey, much like the one we used to pass the Unborn Victims of Violence Act and the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban into law,” concluded Graham. “The sooner this legislation becomes law, the better. We are on the right side of history.”
Passing legislation that is supported by the American people will nonetheless always be tough sledding when pro-abortion members of Congress are extremists times ten on abortion. But it can be done, it has been done, and it will be done again.
Consider the very commonsensical parameters of the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act. It extends general protection to unborn children who are at least 20 weeks beyond fertilization (which is equivalent to 22 weeks of pregnancy — about the start of the sixth month).