House passes bill criminalizing abortion after 20 weeks

By October 10, 2017

United States (MNN) – There’s been significant political action recently in favor of the sanctity of human life. On Oct 3, the House of Representatives passed legislation that would criminalize abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy, save for situations of incest, rape, or when the life of the mother is threatened.

(Photo courtesy of Bethany Christian Services)

Kris Faase with Bethany Christian Services explains: “This has been introduced into Congress before, but it basically is taking the knowledge that we now have, which is different than what we knew in 1973 when Roe v. Wade passed, that a baby, a preborn child at the 20 weeks gestation, or earlier, can feel pain, and responds to pain.”

In January 2017, Republican Representative Trent Franks reintroduced the bill, known as the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, in the House. Similar legislation passed the House in 2013 and 2015, but failed in the Senate. After passing the House with a vote of 237-189, Republican Senator Lindsey Graham reintroduced it into the Senate two days later.

The bill argues from the premise that infants are capable of feeling pain by the time they are 20 weeks old. Doctors disagree on whether this is true, since pain is a subjective experience, but they do provide anesthetics for both the mother and fetus at this stage during fetal operations.

“One of the issues in the early abortion discussion talked about age of viability,” Faase says. “What we know with medical science, that age has changed dramatically over the years. So now, very young babies are being born at a very early stage and are surviving, and we have the medical care for them to make sure all of their physical and developmental needs are met.”

Bethany believes every child has a right to enter into life and be cared for by a loving family. But since abortion is such a polarizing issue, Faase says it’s important we search for common ground in order to have meaningful dialogue.

(Photo courtesy of Bethany Christian Services via Facebook)

“What I would love to see people do is to continue to educate themselves,” Faase says. “Science, as God has revealed it to us, has shown us so much about what happens in that miracle of life.

“This a wonderful opportunity to educate ourselves and to continue to dialogue and work to bridge gaps because, at the end of the day, we all want what’s best for that child and for their parents, whether that parent parents them, and we support that family, or that parent says, ‘I’m not ready at this time,’ and the parent makes an adoption decision.”

Want to learn more about Bethany’s work and how you can support its efforts in defending the sanctity of human life? Click here to learn more about Bethany’s services, or click here for ways to volunteer, support a family, or donate.

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