Feb 25 2020

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Senator Thom Tillis (R-NC) voted in favor of two critical pro-life bills, the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act, legislation that would protect newborns that survive failed abortions by requiring appropriate care and admission to a hospital and the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, legislation that would provide common-sense protections for unborn children at 20 weeks after fertilization, a point at which there is significant scientific evidence that abortion inflicts tremendous pain on the unborn. 

“It is truly heartbreaking that there are politicians in the United States who believe that babies who survive failed abortions should not receive the proper medical attention necessary to keep them alive,” said Senator Tillis. “Today, I voted in support of commonsense legislation to protect unborn children at 20 weeks after fertilization and to ensure that newborns have the care they need and deserve. While Democrats continue to stake out extreme positions, I will never stop fighting for the sanctity of life.”

Prior to the vote, Senator Tillis released the following video on the pro-life legislation. Both bills failed to get cloture after Senate Democrats blocked the measures.

Watch the video HERE.

Summary of bills:

Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act

Currently federal law does not adequately protect a born child who survives an abortion. This legislation requires that, when a failed abortion results in the live birth of an infant, that infant must be given the same degree of care that would be given to any other child born alive at the same gestational age. It also requires that the living child, after appropriate care has been given, be immediately transported and admitted to a hospital.

The legislation stems from comments made last year by Virginia Governor Ralph Northam who endorsed infanticide while discussing an extreme late-term abortion bill being considered in the state House of Delegates. 

Specifically, the legislation:

  • Ensures health care practitioners must exercise the same degree of skill, care, and diligence to preserve the life and health of an infant who is born-alive after an attempted abortion as would be offered to any other child born at the same gestational age.
  • Mandates that a child born alive in an abortion clinic be transported to a hospital for further care.
  • Requires health-care practitioners to report any violations of the law.
  • Institutes penalties for intentionally killing a newborn, including fines and up to five years’ imprisonment.
  • Grants the woman on whom the abortion is performed civil cause of action against the abortionist and protection from prosecution if her child is not cared for after birth.

Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act

At the age of 20 weeks post-fertilization, scientific evidence shows an unborn child can feel pain, and anesthesia is administered directly to the unborn child in second-trimester fetal surgery. The unborn child shows physical, chemical, brain and stress responses demonstrating pain at this stage of development. Advances in modern medicine help babies born at 20, 21 and 22 weeks post-fertilization survive outside the womb. The pain these babies feel outside the womb gives evidence to the pain their unborn counterparts feel while in utero.

The United States is one of only seven countries that allows on-demand abortions past 20 weeks.

Summary of Provisions:

  • The Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act would make it illegal for any person to perform, or attempt to perform, an abortion without first making a determination of the probable post-fertilization age of the unborn child.
  • If the post-fertilization age of the unborn child is determined to be 20 weeks or greater, an abortion shall not be performed, unless –
    • It is necessary to save the life of the pregnant woman;
    • The pregnancy is a result of rape and the woman has received medical treatment or counseling at least 48 hours prior to the abortion; or if she chooses to do so, has made a report to law enforcement; or
    • The pregnancy is a result of rape or incest against a minor and the abuse is reported to either social services or law enforcement.
  • In the case of the exceptions
    • The abortion may only proceed in a manner that provides the best opportunity for the unborn child to survive unless that would pose a greater risk of death or serious bodily injury to the pregnant woman; and
    • The abortion provider must receive informed consent from the pregnant woman, certifying that she has been provided the child's gestational age, a description of the law, and her rights under the law.
  • A woman on whom an abortion was performed in violation of this Act may bring a civil action against the abortion provider in court to recover damages.
  • Abortion doctors are required to submit annual data to the National Center for Health and Statistics providing statistical information about abortions carried out after 20 weeks post-fertilization age.
  • The criminal punishment for a violation of this Act is imprisonment of up to five years, fines, or both.
  • The Act makes clear that a woman who receives an illegal abortion in violation of this act may not be prosecuted.