The Republican-controlled U.S. House of Representatives approved a bill that seeks to ban most abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy.
Under the terms of the legislation, abortions would still be allowed in cases of rape, incest, and danger to the life of the pregnant mother. Although the bill won’t penalize women seeking abortions, it would punish abortion providers with up to a maximum five-year jail sentence.
Currently, it’s illegal to get an abortion after the 20 week mark in more than a dozen states. The bill, sponsored by Rep. Trent Franks of Arizona, aims to protect babies who are believed to be able to already feel pain from being subjected to gruesome abortion procedures.
While the bill passed by a margin of 237 to 189 in the House of Representatives, it faces an uphill battle in the narrowly GOP-held U.S. Senate. At least eight Democrats would need to vote for the measure in order for it to pass. A similar bill from the House was voted down in the Senate in 2015.
Unfortunately, Democratic lawmakers seem to be out of touch with Americans’ views about late-term abortions. Polling conducted by the Huffington Post, NBC News/Wall Street Journal, and others have shown that a majority of Americans support banning abortions after 20 weeks. Unbelievably, the United States is only one of seven countries along with chronic human rights violators North Korea and China that allow fetuses to be aborted through the ninth month of pregnancy.
Trump’s Stamp of Approval
President Trump has voiced strong support and enthusiasm for the bill. A statement released by the White House said, “the bill would promote a science-based approach to unborn life, as recent advancements have revealed that the physical structures necessary to experience pain are developed within 20 weeks of fertilization.”
A growing body of evidence supports the notion that unborn babies have physical, chemical, stress, and brain responses to painful stimuli at only five months. In fact, when performing fetal surgery on babies in the womb, physicians utilize anesthesia. According to The New England Journal of Medicine, babies delivered as young as 20 weeks have a chance to survive.
When unborn babies are five months old, they have all of their organs, arms, legs, fingers, and toes. At this stage, babies can yawn, suck their thumbs, and make faces. At only 21 days, a baby’s heart begins beating. These startling realities make the circumstances surrounding late-term abortions more heartbreaking.
During a popular late-term abortion procedure, the abortionist utilizes forceps to dismember the unborn child. The action rips the baby’s limbs from his or her torso and crushes his or her head in an effort to remove the baby from the uterus. For babies older than 23 weeks, abortion doctors sometimes push long needles into babies’ heads, hearts, or torsos in order to inject a drug that causes cardiac arrest.
Predictably, skeptics from the left are expressing their dissent for the House bill that would protect innocent unborn babies after 20 weeks from being aborted. In a piece for The Guardian, columnist Jessica Valenti stated the bill “has never been about helping Americans, just hurting women.” Abortion activists are also purporting that late-term abortions are an insignificant number.
In 2012, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that 1.3 percent of abortions occurred at 21 weeks or later. With approximately one million abortions performed each year in the United States, abortionists may be killing nearly 13,000 babies that might be able to survive outside of the womb annually.
Some pro-choice advocates are arguing late-term abortions are necessary for health reasons. However, research conducted by the pro-abortion Guttmacher Institute discovered that abortions for fetal abnormalities only constitute a small minority of late-term abortions. Abortions performed to save a mother’s life represent an even tinier number.
The Scripture’s Stance
The Bible’s stance on unborn babies is clear. They’re people. Jeremiah 1:5 states, “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart.” In Psalm 139:13-15, David writes, “For you (God) created my inmost being, You knit me together in my mother’s womb…My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place.”
Christians should pray that the Senate will follow the House’s lead and act on behalf of defenseless unborn babies, who may otherwise be forced to endure unspeakable pain at abortion clinics on the day their lives are callously ended.
~ 1776 Christian