Two pro-life Republican members of Congress – South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham and New Jersey Representative Chris Smith – have reintroduced companion bills titled "Protecting Pain-Capable Unborn Children from Late-Term Abortions Act." The legislation would protect unborn children at 15 weeks, a point by which science shows that the unborn child is capable of experiencing great pain.
The legislation also leaves in place state laws that are more protective of unborn children; and puts the U.S. in line with other modern societies. According to Graham's office, 47 of 50 European nations limit elective abortion prior to 15 weeks' gestation.
Jamie Dangers of Susan B. Anthony Pro-Life America tells AFN that similar bills have been in Congress before banning abortions at the point babies can feel pain.
"Originally their bills were a 20-weeks limit," she explains, "but over the last few years, scientists and researchers – some of whom are not even pro-life themselves – have come to understand and prove that the unborn can feel pain even earlier by at least 15 weeks. So, the [legislation being put forward] now reflects that science."
Carol Tobias of the National Right to Life Committee says aborting is indeed a painful experience.
"We're talking about unborn children who can feel pain as they are being dismembered or killed in another gruesome late-term abortion method," Tobias tells AFN. "Members of Congress just need to have some compassion on these babies and help protect them."
And according to Tobias, that's exactly what Graham and Smith are demonstrating. "We commend [these two pro-life politicians] for their untiring efforts and dedication on behalf of unborn children and their mothers," she states in a press release.
It's no surprise Democrats oppose the legislation. One of those speaking out against it is Congressman Tim Ryan of Ohio, who describes the plan as "un-American."
"I think the idea of the government being in the doctor's office telling a woman what decision she needs to make is very radical. It violates freedom and personal liberty," Ryan says in a Fox News report. "[It's] a complete flip-flop from the idea they wanted this to go to the states.
A Fox News poll this summer shows people have a genuine problem with elective abortions in the second and third trimester.