Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) has also introduced a 20-week abortion ban in the Senate. Both Graham and Smith have introduced similar legislation in previous congresses.
Joining Smith were 142 members of the House, who co-sponsored his bill on Monday.
The House in 2015 and again in 2017 passed a 20-week abortion ban, but the legislation did not pass the Senate.
With Democrats having held control of the House since Jan., 2019, Smith’s legislation is not expected to pass the House.
Another pro-life bill—the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act—was introduced in the previous Congress yet failed to receive a vote. The bill required that babies surviving botched abortion attempts receive necessary care and be transported to a hospital. After Democratic leadership blocked debate on the act, members circulated a “discharge petition” to force consideration of the bill by the entire chamber, but the petition fell 13 signatures short of the 218 signatures necessary to force consideration.
Pro-life groups have told CNA that they are working to elect a pro-life majority to the House in 2022, to enable passage of pro-life legislation.
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Pain-capable bills have also been introduced in the states of Florida and Montana. Gov. Greg Gianforte (R) of Montana has promised to sign the bill if it is passed by the state legislature.
Dilation and evacuation is the commonly-used abortion procedure for the second trimester. Smith said that the gruesome procedure “involves cutting and dismembering the child’s fragile body including severing his or her arms and legs. Until rendered unconscious or dead, the baby feels every cut.”
Smith cited Dr. Colleen Malloy, assistant professor at Northwestern University’s Division of Neonatology, who testified before the House Judiciary Committee in 2012 that unborn babies are already moving, kicking, and reacting at 20 weeks.