CONCERNED WOMEN FOR AMERICA Legislative Action Committee

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Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act

Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act

Bottom Line: The Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act (H.R. 1797) protects unborn children by prohibiting abortion after 20 weeks fetal age, except in cases of rape, incest or when the life of the mother is threatened, because these unborn children are capable of feeling pain.


  • Prominent neuroscientists, pain specialists, and two past presidents of the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology, as well as numerous medical studies, confirm that the unborn child does feel and react to pain.
  • Nine states have already enacted legislation similar to the Pain-Capable bill.
  • With modern technology, surgeons entering the womb to perform corrective procedures on 20-week-old, unborn babies have seen them flinch, jerk, and recoil from sharp objects and incisions.
  • The most common form of abortion for a baby at 20-weeks (five months) is a dismemberment abortion, where a long-toothed, steel clamp grabs parts of the babys body and tears it apart piece by piece.
  • Another common abortion technique for a baby at 20-weeks is a technique to inject chemicals into the babys heart to induce cardiac arrest.

Talking Points:

  • This legislation is crucial to keeping abortionists from knowingly performing abortions on an unborn child past the 20-week mark, when babies pain receptors are fully developed.
  • According to medical experts, the babies pain systems at 20-weeks are fully developed, but the higher-level, pain-modifying systems have barely begun to develop, leaving them to feel excruciating pain, most likely even more pain than adults.
  • In some states and even in our nations capital a mother is currently allowed to abort her baby for any reason until it is born.
  • The United States is one of only nine nations that allow abortions after 14 weeks of gestation.
  • According to The Polling Companys nationwide poll in March 2013, 64 percent of Americans believe abortions should not be allowed if the baby can feel pain.
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