On Tuesday (October 3) the House of Representatives is scheduled to vote on legislation that would criminalize abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy. It’s called the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, and while it mirrors legislation that didn’t meet the mark in 2013 and 2015 as noted by CNN, this time the White House has its back.
“The administration strongly supports H.R. 36, the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, and applauds the House of Representatives for continuing its efforts to secure critical pro-life protections,” the White House said in a statement on Monday.
As CNN notes, Trump was in support of the bill before he became president.
“This dangerous, out-of-touch legislation is nothing more than yet another attempt to restrict women’s access to safe, legal abortion,” Planned Parenthood Action Fund said in a statement posted on its website. “Twenty-week bans are unconstitutional. Twenty-week bans are a clear attempt to erode Roe v. Wade. In fact, 20-week ban proponents are outspoken about their goal to challenge the 1973 Supreme Court decision protecting a woman’s right to safe and legal abortion.”
Not only does this bill attack a woman’s right to make decisions regarding her own body, but it also fails to take into account other sensitive issues, such as pregnancies in which unborn babies are diagnosed with terminal illnesses.
For example, chromosomal abnormality Trisomy 18—which causes heart and kidney issues and severe mental disabilities—is typically fatal. According to NBC News, it occurs in nearly 1 in 6,000 live births. Most babies who have it die before they’re born. If they do make it through birth, they only survive a few days, and less than 10 percent live past their first birthdays.
Even so, Trump’s top advisers are strongly opposed to abortion, and House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy feels it will protect unborn children “who science has proven can feel pain.”
“[It will] give them a chance to grow and live full and happy lives,” McCarthy reportedly said in a statement. “We have an obligation to speak and defend for those who can’t speak for themselves.”