Congressional Update form the Federal Legislation Department of NRLC Regarding H.R. 3803


This is a congressional update from the Federal Legislation Department of the National Right to Life Committee (NRLC) in Washington, D.C., issued May 18, 2012.

Subject: The District of Columbia Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act (H.R. 3803)

Yesterday (May 17, 2012), the Subcommittee on the Constitution of the House Judiciary Committee held a hearing on H.R. 3803, the “District of Columbia Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act.” This legislation would ban abortions on pain-capable unborn children, beginning at 20 weeks fertilization age (22 weeks LMP) in the District of Columbia. More about the bill can be found here. This legislation, introduced by Constitution Subcommittee Chairman Trent Franks (R-AZ), has been cosponsored by 197 Members of Congress. To see the current official list of cosponsors, arranged by state, click here.

The subcommittee heard testimony from four witnesses:

Anthony Levatino, M.D. was invited by the Majority (Republicans) and is a practicing ob-gyn in New Mexico who formerly performed abortions. Dr. Levatino described a dismemberment (D&E) abortion in detail during his testimony. His written testimony is available here, and video of oral testimony, including responses to questions, is available here.

Colleen Malloy, M.D. was invited by the Majority and is an Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. Dr. Malloy testified about her experience caring for premature infants and the evidence that unborn and premature babies feel pain. Her written testimony is available here, and video of oral testimony is available here.

Byron Calhoun, M.D. was invited by the Majority and is a Professor and Vice Chair, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, West Virginia University-Charleston. Dr. Calhoun testified about treatments and interventions for high risk pregnancies and the use of perinatal hospice for infants with fetal abnormalities. His written testimony is available here, and video of oral testimony is available here.

Christy Zink was invited by the Minority (Democrats) as a private witness from Washington, D.C. Ms. Zink testified about her own experience when her unborn child was discovered to have a fetal abnormality. Her written testimony is available here, and video of oral testimony is available here.

The following Members gave statements and/or asked questions during the hearing (video of their questions and witness answers are linked below):

Chairman Trent Franks (R-AZ): Opening Statement, Questions
Ranking Member Jerrold Nadler (D-NY): Opening StatementQuestions
Rep. Steve Chabot (R-OH): Questions
Rep. Bobby Scott (D-VA): Questions
Rep. Steve King (R-IA): Questions

You can watch the entire hearing continuously by going to the Committee website and clicking the “Watch Video Webcast” link. After the clip loads, fast forward to 4:07 to reach the start of the hearing.

For further information on this bill, including easy-to-use tools to help you pass it, visit the NRLC website alert on this legislation here, or contact the NRLC Federal Legislation Department at [email protected] or 202-626-8820.