WASHINGTON (July 18, 2013) – Early this morning, by a vote of 19-11, the Texas Senate gave final passage to HB 2, a bill that would provide protection for unborn children who are capable of feeling pain, beginning at 20 weeks fetal age (equivalent to 22 “weeks of pregnancy”), the beginning of the sixth month. It would also require abortion clinics to meet the same health and safety standards as ambulatory surgical centers. The Texas House of Representatives approved the measure earlier this week. Pro-life Governor Rick Perry supports the measure.
“Today, Texas joins other states around the country in passing this life-saving legislation that protects pain-capable unborn children from the excruciating pain of being torn apart in their mothers’ wombs,” said Carol Tobias, president of the National Right to Life Committee. “We commend Governor Perry, pro-life members of the Texas legislature, and the staff and volunteers of our affiliate, Texas Right to Life, for their tireless efforts to see this bill enacted into law.”
Texas becomes the tenth state to enact effective protection for pain-capable unborn children. On June 18, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a nationwide Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act (H.R. 1797). Both the Texas bill and the federal bill are based on model legislation drafted by National Right to Life.
In a nationwide poll of 1,003 registered voters in March, The Polling Company found that 64% would support a law such as the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act prohibiting abortion after 20 weeks — when an unborn baby can feel pain — unless the life of the mother is in danger. Only 30% opposed such legislation. Women voters split 63%-31% in support of such a law, and 63% of independent voters supported it.
On the eve of the 43rd Annual National Right to Life convention, which was held in Dallas last month, Governor Perry called for this second special session of the Texas legislature to seek passage of this pro-life legislation. During his address to the NRLC convention the next day, Governor Perry remarked,“Every life is precious. Our founding fathers understood that. That’s why they affirmed the right to life in the Declaration of Independence, listing it ahead of liberty and the pursuit of happiness. As our forefathers correctly understood, life is nothing less than a gift from God. And defending that right is a calling worthy of our best. That’s why we work so hard to protect all of God’s children. There is no higher calling or more basic standard than that.”
“Today, the voice of Texas’ pro-life majority was heard loud and clear: mothers and their unborn children should be protected from an abortion industry that cares more about its financial bottom line than it does about truly helping women and their children,” Tobias added.
Some of the extensive evidence that unborn children have the capacity to experience pain, at least by 20 weeks fetal age, is available on the NRLC website at www.nrlc.org/abortion/fetalpain and also here: www.doctorsonfetalpain.com
A medical illustration of one common method of late abortion (“D&E”) is posted here: www.nrlc.org/abortion/pba/DEabortiongraphic
Founded in 1968, National Right to Life, the federation of 50 state right-to-life affiliates and more than 3,000 local chapters, is the nation’s oldest and largest grassroots pro-life organization. Recognized as the flagship of the pro-life movement, NRLC works through legislation and education to protect innocent human life from abortion, infanticide, assisted suicide and euthanasia.