Tuesday October 3, 2017, the United States House Representatives the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act. The bill would make it illegal to have an abortion after 20 weeks of pregnancy except in cases of rape or incest. Similar legislation was passed in the House of Representatives in 2013 and 2015, but failed because it did not have support from the White House. President Trump has pledged his support for the bill, and will sign it if it goes to his desk after a Senate vote. The scientific research behind pregnancy show that a fetus can feel pain and show signs of sophisticated emotional and neurologic development.
The bill is meant to prevent nearly developed babies from being aborted who could possibly survive outside the womb. The bill’s passing was quickly condemned by women’s activist groups like Planned Parenthood, calling the bill “an attack on women’s rights.” The bill has a challenging road ahead, as it needs the support of 50 Republicans in the Senate, leaving room for only two Republican defectors.