Congressman Goodlatte and the vast majority of his Republican House colleagues (even Tim Murphy) on Tuesday passed the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, which would outlaw most abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy.
The bill, clearly designed to chip away at the right of a woman to choose to terminate a pregnancy , is based on the dubious belief that fetuses are capable of feeling pain at 20 weeks– in the middle of the second trimester, when abortion is currently legal under the Supreme Court’s Roe v. Wade decision.
At 20 weeks babies hear music, respond to human voices, and, most importantly, they can feel pain.
But Chris Gavaler notes with plenty of backing at the Dear Bob blog:
This is a lie. Science has proven no such thing. The majority of scientific studies supports pain-capability at 24 weeks, 27-28 weeks, or 29-30 weeks.
As is often the case, Goodlatte seems more concerned about children before they are born than after they are born.
Update: A Democratic fact sheet on this misbegotten bill.