Missouri Family E-News

February 7, 2018

State House to Consider
Twenty-Week Abortion Ban
A Missouri House Committee is considering legislation which would prohibit most abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy.

The proposal, House Bill 1266, known as the Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, is sponsored by Representative Donna Lichtenegger of Cape Girardeau.

The legislation was presented last week before the House Children and Families Committee.  The committee has scheduled a vote on the bill next Tuesday.

House Bill 1266 would ban abortions when a preborn child has reached "the pain capable gestational age."  The measure defines that as 22 weeks since the first day of the woman's last menstrual period, which is generally consistent with 20 weeks after fertilization.

The bill makes exceptions for medical emergencies, or where continuation of the pregnancy would cause substantial and irreversible damage to a major bodily function of the mother.

Twenty-one states have now passed laws making it illegal to perform an abortion after 20 weeks of pregnancy.  Those laws stand at odds with U.S. Supreme Court decisions which declare that states may only ban abortions after viability.

Missouri currently has a statute on the books which was adopted in 2011 which bans abortions when it is determined that an unborn child is able to survive outside the womb with or without medical intervention.

That law was developed by the Missouri Family Policy Council, which worked successfully for its passage.  Previous law in Missouri allowed late-term abortions for reasons of "mental or emotional health," which amounted to no ban at all.

Representative Lichtenegger's proposal is based on the growing medical consensus that a preborn child attains a level of sensory development by 20 weeks of pregnancy through which he or she would experience excruciating pain during an abortion.

You may contact your state representative to let them know your views on the Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Act by using this link:
Your State Representative 
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Senator McCaskill
Votes to Preserve
 Late-Term Abortion  

The United States Senate voted last week to block legislation which would have banned late-term abortions, and Missouri Senator Claire McCaskill was among those who cast their vote to maintain the legality of abortion-on-demand throughout all stages of pregnancy.

The Senate was debating a bill known as the Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Act.  The proposal would prohibit elective abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy.  Pro-life advocates have promoted this threshold because they believe that is the point at which a preborn child is able to experience intense pain as a result of the abortion "procedure."

The Pain Capable bill had been previously adopted by the U.S. House by a vote of 237-189. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina was the handler of the bill in the Senate.  He and his pro-life Senate colleagues made an effort to defeat a filibuster by pro-abortion senators to bring the bill to a vote.  Senators voted 51-46 to put an end to the debate, but it takes 60 votes to suspend a filibuster. 

Senator McCaskill voted with her pro-abortion colleagues to prevent the bill from coming up for a vote.  This is the second time in the last three years that Senator McCaskill has voted in favor of late-term abortions.  Missouri Senator Roy Blunt was a co-sponsor of the Pain Capable bill, and voted to shut down the filibuster so that the measure could be voted on.

President Donald Trump condemned the Senate's failure to act on the legislation, saying that it is America's duty to "protect the most vulnerable." "This vote by the Senate keeps the United States out of the mainstream in the family of nations, in which only 7 out of 198 countries, such as China and North Korea, allow elective abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy.  It is wrong, and it has to change."

The Centers for Disease Control estimates that nearly 6000 unborn children are dismembered and destroyed each year through late-term abortions.  There is now compelling medical evidence that by 20 weeks of development a preborn child has all the physical elements needed for transmitting and feeling pain, such as the spinal cord, the thalamus, nerve tracts,  and numerous pain receptors.  It is common practice for anesthesia to be administered to unborn children undergoing surgery at this stage of pregnancy. 
Senator Bill Cassidy of Louisiana, who is a physician, stated on the Senate floor that protecting unborn babies who can feel pain is "the humane thing to do." "When you see a baby in the womb at five months, it's incredible.  You can see them yawning and stretching.  At 18 weeks, you can find out if it's a boy or a girl."

"Thanks to modern medicine and amazing neonatal intensive care unit doctors and nurses we have in this country, babies delivered as early as 20 to 22 weeks can survive and live healthy lives," Senator Cassidy added.  Senator Joni Ernst of Iowa showed her colleagues on the Senate floor a blown-up picture of Micah Pickering, a five-month-old premature baby grasping his parents' hands.  Micah is now a healthy five-year-old boy.  

During testimony on the bill in the House, a former abortionist described how he conducted late-term abortions.  Dr. Anthony Levatino shared with House committee members that he used a clamp with rows of teeth to "grasp anything you can" inside the womb.

"You feel something and squeeze on the clamp and out pops a fully formed leg," Levatino explained.  "You reach in again, and out pops an arm.  You reach in again and again with the clamp and tear out the spine, intestine, heart and lungs."

Troy Newman, President of Operation Rescue, deplored the Senate's action to kill the legislation. "The fact that liberal Senators would want to continue brutal late-term abortions, which dismember viable babies that feel pain, really shows the depths of human depravity, and how far our nation has slipped into barbarity."

You can let Senator McCaskill know how you feel about her vote on the Pain Capable bill by using this link:
Senator McCaskill

You can share your thoughts with Senator Blunt about his vote by clicking this link:
Senator Blunt

Joe's Signature


Missouri Family Policy Council, 1430 Triad Center Dr., Ste. B, St. Peters, MO 63376
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