The Unborn Child Pain
Awareness Act Needs Your Help!
WASHINGTON (August 3, 2004) - - A bill that spotlights the pain inflicted on unborn children by abortion is gathering support in Congress, but needs a boost from grassroots pro-life citizens.
The chief sponsors of the bill say that additional cosponsors must be gathered if the bill is to have any chance of receiving
formal action during the few weeks remaining in the current congressional session.
The Unborn Child Pain Awareness Act was introduced on May 20 by Congressman Chris Smith (R-NJ) and Senator Sam Brownback (R-Ks.), with strong backing from NRLC.
Since then, the House bill (H.R. 4420) has gathered 64 cosponsors (out of 435 House members), while the Senate bill (S. 2466) has attracted 24 cosponsors (out of 100 senators).
Congress is in recess during August. Lawmakers will reconvene after Labor Day, on September 7. But Congress is only scheduled to remain in session for about four weeks, before adjourning in early October so that lawmakers can go home and campaign for the November 2 election.
A surge of grassroots pressure for the bill would make it a better candidate for action before Congress adjourns, Congressman Smith explained.
"I am hoping that we can quickly break the 100-cosponsor mark," Smith told NRL News. "It would be very helpful if pro-life citizens would speak to their representatives about this bill as the lawmakers make public appearances in their districts in August and early September."
Senator Brownback concurred, saying, "The more senators hear about this bill from their constituents between now and Labor Day, the more cosponsors we will gain, and the better our chances become for breaking through the obstacles that the pro-abortion side will place in its path."
* On the internet, visit the Legislative Action Center at the NRLC website, at http://www. capwiz.com/nrlc/home/. Click on "Issues and Legislation," then on "H.R. 4420," then on "Show Cosponsor Information," to see if your representative in the U.S. House of Representatives has cosponsored the Unborn Child Pain Awareness Act. If he or she has not yet cosponsored the bill, you can easily send an appropriate e-mail message urging cosponsorship by going back one click, then entering your zip code into the "Take Action Now" box. You will be shown a suggested message that you can modify if you wish.
* To learn if one of your U.S. Senators has cosponsored S. 2466, click "Elected Officials," use either the map or zip code finder to go to the page about your senator, then click "Cosponsorship Status." If he or she has not cosponsored S. 2466, click "Ask for Support" to send the senator an appropriate e-mail message.
* You can also contact your representative in the U.S. House of Representatives by calling the Capitol Switchboard, 202-225-3121. If you are not sure of your congressman's name, just give the operator your zip code. When you connect to the congressman's office, urge that he cosponsor the H.R. 4420, the Unborn Child Pain Awareness Act, and say that you would like to receive a written response explaining the lawmaker's position on the bill. Also, ask if the representative will be making a public appearance in your community between now and Labor Day. If the answer is yes, try to attend to speak with the representative about the importance of the legislation.
* In the same way, by calling 202-224-3121 you can be connected to the offices of your two U.S. Senators. Ask them to cosponsor S. 2466, the Unborn Child Pain Awareness Act.
WHAT THE UNBORN CHILD PAIN
AWARENESS ACT WOULD DO
Before any abortion is performed at 20 weeks past fertilization or later, the bill would require every abortionist to provide specified information to the mother about the capacity of her unborn child to experience pain during the abortion. After receiving that information - - including the offer of a government-produced brochure - - the woman would sign a form either accepting or refusing the administration of pain-reducing drugs directly to the unborn child.
The bill contains a number of proposed congressional "findings" regarding the scientific evidence that unborn children experience great pain during abortions at 20 weeks (and perhaps earlier).
Any abortion provider convicted of violating the law would face stringent civil and regulatory penalties, including suspension or revocation of his medical license. In addition, a woman on whom an abortion was performed in knowing and reckless violation of this law would be empowered to sue for actual and punitive damages.
For the full text of the Unborn Child Pain Awareness Act and additional documentation on the pain experienced by unborn children, see the section of the NRLC website titled The Pain of the Unborn Child, at http://www.nrlc.org/abortion/fetal_pain/index.html