UPDATE: THE BILL WAS INTRODUCED ON JUNE 11. See statement from National Right to Life President Carol Tobias here. Hopefully, it will come up for a vote in the Senate in the autumn.
In the wake of similar legislation which passed the U.S. House of Representatives on May 13, the Senate plans to introduce a bill this week to extend protection to unborn children who are at least 20 weeks beyond fertilization.
The bill, the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, is being introduced by Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), and the National Right to Life Committee is urging other senators to sign on as co-sponsors.
In a letter sent to all senators on June 1, the National RTL Committee wrote: It is now commonplace to read about evidence that, by 20 weeks fetal age and even earlier, an unborn child responds to many forms of stimuli, including music and the mother’s voice. Claims that the same child is nevertheless insensible to the violence done to her body during an abortion should engender strong skepticism. Abortions at this stage are performed using a variety of techniques, but most often by a method in which the unborn child’s arms and legs are twisted off by brute manual force, using a long stainless steel clamping tool. A medical illustration of this common method is posted here. This bill will save thousands of lives annually.
While opponents of the ban on late-term abortions say the procedure is rare, there are 275 facilities in America that offer abortions past 20 weeks.