Washington D.C., Dec 6, 2006 / 22:00 pm
A bill which would have required doctors to notify women seeking an abortion that their unborn child as young as 20 weeks old undergoes excruciating pain during an abortion failed to pass in the U.S. House of Representatives yesterday.
The Unborn Child Pain Awareness Act, H.R. 6099, introduced by Rep. Chris Smith (R- New Jersey), failed by a vote of 250-162, short of the two-thirds majority required under rules that limit debate.
Smith said the bill would have made abortion slightly more humane.
"Not only is abortion violence against children, but now we know that abortions are painful to the baby as well," Smith said in debate on the House floor. "We ought to at least allow that child pain medication."
The bill would also have required doctors to provide patients with a consent form requesting or refusing anesthesia for the unborn baby.
Concerned Women for America responded with a statement insisting that women deserve full information before making a decision to abort.
“Regrettably, congressmen – many who denounced the use of torture against suspected terrorists – have voted to not let women know that abortion will torture their innocent unborn babies," said CWA president Wendy Wright.
Democrats who opposed the bill cited a study prepared by abortion advocates, which claimed to show that children do not feel pain until the 29th week of pregnancy. The cited study, however, has been refuted several times.
Congress is expected to adjourn by the end of the week, and Democrats will control both chambers in January.
The Republican controlled Senate, however, failed to act on a similar bill introduced nearly two years ago.