WASHINGTON—U.S. Senator Bill Cassidy, M.D. (R-LA), spoke on the Senate floor today and urged his colleagues to vote in favor of the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act (S. 2311), legislation he cosponsored to protect unborn children from elective abortion at 20 weeks post-fertilization:
Key excerpts of Dr. Cassidy’s remarks are transcribed below
“When you see a baby in the womb at five months, it’s incredible. … You can see them yawning, stretching. At 18 weeks, you can find out if it’s a boy or a girl. And thanks to modern medicine and amazing Neonatal Intensive Care Unit doctors and nurses we have in this country, babies delivered as early as 20 to 22 weeks can survive and live healthy lives. …
“Now, as a doctor, I have to look at the scientific evidence we have when it comes to the beginning of life. At 20 weeks, studies have provided strong evidence that babies can feel pain despite the fact that the nerve connections between the different parts of the brain are still developing. That is why fetal anesthesia is routinely administered when unborn children require surgery in the womb. …
“Versions of this law have already been passed in 20 states, including my state of Louisiana. But all babies who feel pain deserve the same protection. Most Americans agree—even some who believe abortion should be legal. Polls show that majorities of women, independents and Democrats support this protection. So I hope my colleagues will join in supporting this commonsense, humane legislation. It’s estimated this bill will protect 12,000 to 18,000 babies per year.
“Protecting unborn babies who can feel pain is the right thing to do. Protecting their right to life is the right thing to do. I urge my colleagues to vote for this important legislation.”
The U.S. House of Representatives passed the bill on October 3, 2017. The legislation includes explicit protections for instances when a mother’s life is at risk, or in cases of rape or incest.