Thursday, May 14, 2015

Is the Pain Capable Act a Good Thing? [Updated]

Perhaps you read this story yesterday: Breaking: U S House Passes 10 Week Abortion Ban on Anniversary of Gosnell Conviction.

According to OpenCongress, the vote was 242-184 in favor, mostly along party lines, with 4 Democrats voting "yes" and 4 Republicans voting "no".

I remains to be seen whether the senate will pass this bill with enough votes to withstand the pretty much guaranteed veto of our extreme pro-abortion president. If the vote goes along party lines, it will fail (55-45 if the independents split their vote).

I have mixed feelings about this bill. I applaud any legislation that protects the right to life, but there are a number of problems...

1) The bill makes avoiding pain the criteria for protecting the right to life. This is dangerous in many ways. First off, if an abortionist were to inject the baby with an anesthetic before, or at the same time as, the digoxin, then the abortion would be (presumably) OK. Second, if we make pain the criteria for preserving life, what about people with chronic pain? Do they become eligible for euthanasia? We have established a principle that pain is so important avoid it is worth taking away a woman's "rights"? Could it be used to take away a senior or disabled persons's right to life?

2) The bill brings the US into line with other "civilized" nations. The political will to move beyond this point will be lessened. This may be a moot point, since we don't seem to have the political will to go even this far, judging by the "controversy" and expected lackluster performance in the senate.

3) The percentage of abortions performed after 20 weeks is small, about 1.4 percent. So this bill does not save many lives. Not that the 16,800 lives it would save are not significant, but if we're going to go through the process, it would be nice to have a bill that addressed a larger percentage of abortions.

On the plus side, when (nearly) every Democrat votes against for abortion up to birth, and the president vetoes the bill, it does point out just how extreme the party's views on abortion are. Perhaps that will get people thinking and acting to defend life...

[UPDATE] It seems others find even less good about this bill. The exceptions in it are pretty much the reasons given for most late term abortions today, so the number of lives saved will be even tinier. Sounds like more "feel good" legislation. If you want to feel good for real, contact your legislator and ask them to support HR 816.


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