A new poll shows that nearly two-thirds of Americans support a law which would ban abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy.
The magazine National Review commissioned a survey by the Polling Company which revealed that 64 percent of Americans endorse the 20-week ban. Only 22 percent opposed the proposal.
The legislation in question is known as the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act. It is so called because it is believed by medical experts that an unborn child can experience pain by that stage of a pregnancy.
The survey found that 67 percent of women support the bill, as do 78 percent of young voters. 70 percent of African-Americans and 57 percent of Hispanic-Americans agree with the 20-week ban.
Eighteen states have passed some version of the Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Act. Federal judges have struck down three of those laws, ruling that they violate Supreme Court decisions that permit abortions until viability. Missouri has a law that prohibits most abortions after viability.
Last year, the U.S. House of Representatives approved a national version of the Pain Capable legislation. However, the bill died in the Senate when supporters were unable to overcome a filibuster by pro-abortion senators.
During hearings on the bill, Dr. Kanwaljeet Anand testified that nerve endings extend to all parts of the skin and tissue of a developing child by 20 weeks of pregnancy. Dr. Anand is a professor of pediatrics and anesthesiology at Stanford University Medical Center.
"The human fetus possesses the ability to experience pain from 20 weeks of gestation, if not earlier, and the pain perceived by a fetus is possibly more intense than that perceived by term newborns or children," Dr. Anand explained.
That's because a preborn child has the highest number of pain receptors per square inch at this stage, while the fibers which help to moderate pain do not begin to develop until 32-34 weeks of pregnancy.
Prospects for passage of the Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Act on the federal level have improved as a result of the recent national election. President-elect Donald Trump pledged during his campaign that he would sign such legislation if it reached his desk.
In other pro-life news, a recent report from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control reveals a continuing reduction in the numbers of abortions being performed across the United States.
Statistics from 2013 which have just been released show a 5 percent drop from 2012 and a 20 percent reduction since 2004. The abortion rate per 1000 women aged 15-44 is now the lowest since 1971, two years before the Supreme Court's infamous Roe v. Wade decision.