WASHINGTON DC - The Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act passed in the US House this week in a 228 to 196 vote. The bill would outlaw abortions on unborn children 20 weeks or older. Illinois' delegation voted along party lines, except for Congressman Dan Lipinski, a Democrat, who voted for the bill.
Illinois Republicans Rodney Davis, Randy Hultgren, Adam Kinzinger, Peter Roskam and John Shimkus all voted for the bill. Schock missed the vote.
Illinois Democrats Cheri Bustos, Danny Davis, Tammy Duckworth, Bill Enyart, Robin Kelly, Luis Guiterrez, Bill Foster, Jan Schakowsky, Brad Schneider, Mike Quigley and Bobby Rush all opposed it.
H.R. 1797 generally prohibits the abortion of unborn children at twenty weeks after fertilization or later, the stage during which a substantial body of medical evidence indicates that they are capable of feeling pain. The bill provides exceptions for pregnancies resulting from rape, or from incest against a minor, as long as such incidents are reported to the appropriate law enforcement or government agency prior to the abortion. H.R. 1797 also provides an exception when the life of the mother is in danger. The termination of a pregnancy under the exceptions generally must be done in manner that provides the best opportunity for the unborn child’s survival.
A person who performs or attempts to perform an abortion prohibited under H.R. 1797 will be fined, imprisoned for less than five years, or both. However, H.R. 1797 prohibits the prosecution of a woman who receives an abortion in violation of the bill.
The bill now moves to the Senate, where the Democrat-controlled chamber is not likely to pick the bill up for debate.