May 14, 2012

NRLC Letter to Congress on the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act (H.R. 3803)


The District of Columbia Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act (H.R. 3803)

Dear Member of Congress:

Did you know that in our nation's capital, it is perfectly legal to subject unborn children to terribly painful deaths, even during the sixth and seventh months of pregnancy -- or even later? In the District of Columbia, abortion is now legal at any point up to the moment of birth, for any reason, as long as someone is willing to pay an abortionist for the gruesome "service."

This appalling situation will be explored by the U.S. House Judiciary Committee's Subcommittee on the Constitution on May 17, 2012, in a public hearing on the District of Columbia Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act (H.R. 3803). This legislation, introduced by Congressman Trent Franks, is similar to laws that have already been enacted in six states (Nebraska, Kansas, Idaho, Oklahoma, Alabama, and Georgia). The National Right to Life Committee (NRLC), which is the nationwide federation of state right-to-life organizations, urges you to join 186 of your colleagues as a cosponsor of this bill, if you have not already done so. This bill is NRLC's top congressional priority for 2012.

Our nation was created when the original group of sovereign states came together and formed a federated republic. Article I of the U.S. Constitution established that the national seat of government would be placed forever not within any state, but in a special Federal District -- and that the Congress would "exercise exclusive legislation in all cases whatsoever, over such District." But what would the Framers of our Constitution say if they returned today and learned, to their horror, that well-developed unborn babies are legally being put to death, in terrible pain, virtually within the shadow of the U.S. Capitol and the White House?

One abortion "clinic," situated not far from the National Mall and the White House, openly advertises abortion on demand up to the beginning of the seventh month of pregnancy -- payable by a credit card. ("Checks and money orders are not accepted.") This facility mentions the method used for its late abortions -- "dilatation and evacuation," also known as "dilation and evacuation" or "D&E." In a D&E, the abortionist grasps the little arms and legs of the well-developed unborn baby and literally tears them off, one by one, by brute manual force. The baby is alive, of course, at the beginning of this dismemberment abortion. A medical illustration of this common, brutal abortion method is posted here:

The baby certainly experiences excruciating pain as her limbs are twisted off with steel forceps. Some of the extensive evidence that unborn children have the capacity to experience pain, at least by 20 weeks, is available on the NRLC website at

Who can put a stop to this? The Congress, and -- if he would -- the President.

In H.R. 3803, Congress would declare that at least by 20 weeks after fertilization, an unborn child has the capacity to experience pain -- and, on that basis, the bill would prohibit abortions within the District (except when acute physical problems endanger the life of the mother) from that point on (from the beginning of the sixth month, in layperson's terminology). By cosponsoring this bill, you would express your opposition to the current policy of unrestricted legal abortion to the moment of birth in the nation's capital. Those who vote against the bill will, of course, be voting to ratify that exact policy. The Constitution leaves no doubt that with respect to protection of innocent human life in the federal District, "the buck stops" with Congress.

Thank you for considering our urgent request that you add your name as a cosponsor of H.R. 3803, if you have not already done so.

Source: National Right to Life