President Trump Monday asked the Senate to reconsider the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, which would disallow abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy, after Democrats a scheduled vote.
Forty-eight Republicans and three Democrats voted to halt the Democratic filibuster and move to a floor vote, short of the required supermajority of 60 votes.
One group immediately called for an abandonment of the supermajority rule, and President Trump called for reconsideration of the bill.
“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,” the president explained.
“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.”
The plan already had been approved by the House.
“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 7 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. I urge the Senate to reconsider its decision and pass legislation that will celebrate, cherish, and protect life,” Trump said.
A statement from the Catholic Association, through senior policy adviser Maureen Malloy Ferguson, was more blunt.
“In today’s vote a majority of senators voted to stop the inhumane practice of abortion after five months of pregnancy. The Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection bill would ban abortion past the point at which 20-week babies are sucking their thumbs in ultrasound photos displayed proudly on their parents’ refrigerators. They are also routinely given anesthesia during in-utero procedures due to their ability to feel pain,” she said.
“But because the minority blocked this bill, the brutality of painful late-term abortion – over 12,000 a year – will continue unrestricted. Babies at this stage of development are capable of surviving outside of the womb, and are capable of feeling pain. This is a human tragedy, and a political mistake for the senators who opposed a bill supported by about two-thirds of Americans.”
Added Ashley McGuire, a senior fellow with the Catholic Association: “A majority of senators have voted to end the barbaric practice of late-term abortion. This reflects the will of the American people, an overwhelming majority of whom want to ban the gruesome procedure. Regularly referred to as ‘common ground’ for both pro-choicers and pro-lifers, this is a common sense and moderate measure that only brings the United States in line with most other developed nations that have long banned it. Sadly, Democrats still in the grip of the powerful abortion lobby refuse to let America take this important step forward.”
Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, said the recalcitrance of the opponents was shocking.
“The facts on this matter are indisputable: Democrats have willfully ignored science for the sake of political expediency. As for myself, I was proud to vote for the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, and I am eager to continue fighting on behalf of the unborn,” he said.
Abortion business interests and the politicians they support have been ardently opposed to any limitation on abortion in recent years.
But one suggestion immediately was made to make those votes simpler in the Senate.
Kristan Hawkins of Students for Life of America said the 51 votes in the Senate should have prevailed, not the 46.
“Pro-life Americans would finally have a groundbreaking victory for life in the U.S. Senate if the vote passed with majority rules as it should. It’s time for a rule change. Instead, extremists in the Senate can block the desires of more than three out of four Americans who support real limits on the deadly abortion procedure.”
She said it’s “only common sense that abortion be limited at the point at which the preborn infant feels great pain and the procedure is so dangerous for women.”
“For those senators who voted against the bill, Millennials will be asking how they can embrace such an inhumane procedure for infants who soon can survive outside the womb, and the pro-life generation will hold them accountable.”
It is estimated the bill would have saved the lives of as many as 18,000 unborn babies each year.
The president already had said he would sign it into law.
Carol Tobias, president of National Right to Life, said Americans should be outraged at the pro-abortion Democrats.
Rep. Chris Smith, R-N.J., pointed out that about two-thirds of Americans support protecting pain-capable unborn children.
Currently, such protections are provided by state law in only 16 states.
Family Research Council chief Tony Perkins said: “American should not be forced to remain in the company of nations that engage in the aborting of viable unborn children. Because of Democrat opposition to the Pain-Capable bill America will remain one of seven countries in the world, along with North Korea, China, and Vietnam that have legalized abortion on demand after 5 months of development. The American people will not forget the extreme position taken by Senate Democrats to block this commonsense legislation to stop barbaric late abortions, which is supported by nearly 60 percent of Americans.”