Despite its willingness to campaign on a staunchly pro-life platform, the Republican Party of recent decades has accomplished little in Washington regarding protections for the unborn.
For as long as I can remember, tough talk from the trail — talk of defunding Planned Parenthood and restricting the senseless prenatal elimination of America’s future generations — has always given way to excuses and broken promises following election day, even when the GOP controls both the legislative and executive branches.
Such trends have of course begun shifting under the Trump administration, however, with pro-life politicians emboldened in recent years to make major moves restricting the flow of federal family-planning funds to prominent abortion providers.
Now, Senate Republicans are reportedly gearing up to once again make substantial headway on the contentious issue with a vote on legislation banning late-term abortion.
According to the Washington Examiner, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell took action Tuesday to revive the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, which would federally prohibit abortion after 20 weeks of gestation.
“A senior Republican aide pointed to a likely date of Feb. 24 for a vote,” the Examiner reported.
The bill does include exceptions for cases where “abortion is necessary to save the life of a pregnant woman,” as well as in cases of rape and incest.
The legislation, which failed to break Democratic filibuster in an entirely Republican-controlled 115th Congress in 2018, would allow for the punishment of medical professionals found responsible for carrying out late-term abortion procedures by way of a substantial fine, up to five years in prison, or both.
The bill received bipartisan support and opposition in its first go.
It was voted down by maverick Republican Sens. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska and Susan Collins of Maine, but favored by Democratic Sens. Joe Manchin of West Virginia, Bob Casey of Pennsylvania and Joe Donnelly of Indiana (who went on to lose his re-election bid to a Republican).
The legislation’s initial failure to pass prompted a fiery response from President Donald Trump.
“Recently, when I addressed the 45th annual March for Life, I called on the Senate to pass the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, important legislation that would protect our most vulnerable,” Trump said in a statement in January 2018.
“It is disappointing that despite support from a bipartisan majority of U.S. Senators, this bill was blocked from further consideration.”
“Scientific studies have demonstrated that babies in the womb feel pain at 20 weeks,” Trump continued. “The vote by the Senate rejects scientific fact and puts the United States out of the mainstream in the family of nations, in which only seven out of 198 nations, including China and North Korea, allow elective abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy.
“We must defend those who cannot defend themselves,” the president added. “I urge the Senate to reconsider its decision and pass legislation that will celebrate, cherish, and protect life.”
.@LindseyGrahamSC on Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act: “What good comes from having a country where you can abort a baby in the fifth month of pregnancy without any reason at all?” https://t.co/s8t7aFLlim pic.twitter.com/ibVeS7xefd
— Fox News (@FoxNews) January 30, 2018
This week, the Senate considered the “Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Act” to protect 20 week and older babies from elective abortions. I believe there will be a time when we are judged by whether or not we stood up for life. pic.twitter.com/rLNfUmCxWL
— Senator Rand Paul (@RandPaul) January 30, 2018
Trump recently renewed those calls for reconsideration of the bill, directly asking Congress “to pass legislation finally banning the late-term abortion of babies” during last week’s State of the Union address.
I am calling upon Members of Congress here tonight to pass legislation finally banning late-term abortion of babies.
Whether we are Republican, Democrat, or Independent, surely we must all agree that every human life is a sacred gift from God!
— Susan B. Anthony List (@SBAList) February 5, 2020
Unfortunately, however, regardless of the bill’s potential for success in a mildly more conservative Senate, it is doomed to fail in the House of Representatives, which has ceded control to the Democratic Party since the last time the legislation was up for discussion.
And that Democratic majority is one comprised of numerous fresh-faced radicals all but entirely apathetic to the fact that roughly 1 in every 100 abortions is carried out after the 21st week of gestation, according to the pro-abortion Guttmacher Institute — in an age where medical science is steadily improving survival rates for premature births, no less.
If only the GOP had fought just a bit more boldly at times when its leadership was unchallenged, perhaps reasonable restrictions would have been less unthinkable in the mainstream culture.
But at the very least, this is a step in the right direction — and an opportunity to officially and publicly expose the modern Democratic Party as the party of late-term, on-demand, no-questions-asked abortion.
Maybe that will wake Americans up to the reality of its current culture of death.
Maybe that will give legislation such as this a real fighting chance.
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