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March 3 Parental Notification Repeal Update

photo credit:  Jim Bowen / Flickr HB1797, which would the Repeal of the Parental Notification Act of 1995, was introduced on February 16, 2...

February 17, 2021

Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act Introduced in US House

Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ)
This Monday, New Jersey Rep. Chris Smith (R) introduced the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act in the US House. The law would ban most abortions after the child reaches 20 weeks gestation- when some medical experts believe babies are able to feel pain.

Lindsey Graham (R-SC) has introduced a similar ban in the Senate.

Unfortunately, since votes on this issue are nearly party-line, the law is unlikely to pass. Only 142 representatives (less than one-third of the 435 total representatives) in the House co-sponsored Smith's bill.

20-week abortion bans passed the House in 2015 and 2017, but they failed in the house on both occasions.

The most recent bill of this type was introduced in the Senate by Sen. Graham in 2020. It failed to gain the needed 60 votes, however. That vote also closely followed party lines, with four exceptions. Sens. Bob Casey (D-Pa.), and Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) voted in favor of the bill, but Sens. Susan Collins (R-Maine) and Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) voted against it.

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