Senate fails to pass Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act

Washington, D.C. – September 23, 2015: The U.S. Senate yesterday morning considered and failed to pass House Resolution 36, the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act.  The bill passed the U.S. House of Representatives in May with a final vote of 242-184 and has been stalled in the U.S. Senate until now.  The measure would protect preborn children after five months from excruciating late abortions. 

Pro-Life senators worked to prevent a Democrat filibuster of the floor debate.  Many senators offered an impassioned defense of this important legislation.  Before the Senate considered the bill, President Obama had already threatened to veto the measure.  The final vote in the Senate was 54-42, and Pro-Life Senators were unable to reach the 60 votes necessary for passage.  Three Democrats crossed the aisle to vote with Republicans on the Pro-Life bill; however, two Republicans opposed the bill.

HR 36 was modeled after legislation such as House Bill 2, the Pro-Life Omnibus Bill, passed in the Texas Legislature in 2013.  Such legislation is based on the scientific evidence that babies feel pain at five months gestation, and thus, they suffer intense pain when they are killed by abortion. 

The failure of the Senate to reach cloture in the vote on the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act is disappointing given the barbaric nature of late abortions.  Preborn children across the nation, not only in Texas and a handful of other states, should not be subjected to such barbaric dismemberment.  

The Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act is the most important piece of Pro-Life legislation before the United States Congress since the Partial Birth Abortion Ban passed more than a decade ago and eventually upheld by the Supreme Court of the United States in 2007.  HR 36 has gained widespread support from the Pro-Life movement, popularized by #TheyFeelPain on social media.  With such strong grassroots support, the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act may be a wedge issue in the upcoming elections. 

Texas will continue to take the lead in protecting Life.  With the 2013 passage of HB 2, Texas acknowledged the need to protect babies who can feel pain and  advanced protection for all pre-born Life.  Contact your Texas state legislator and remind them of the need to continue to advance Pro-Life protections in Texas.  In the wake of the revelations made in the undercover videos of Planned Parenthood, Texas’ role in leading the nation in Pro-Life legislation has never been more important.