Next stop, the Senate

The Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act is supported by 74% of Americans, and 77% of women. Then why did it pass on a party-line vote in the House of Representatives, and why does it face a filibuster in the Senate?

Because, if it could save just one life (or, in this case, 10,000), who could be against it? The answer, of course, isn’t moral or ethical; it’s political.

Mentioned links:

Call or write your Senator

20-week Abortion ban clears House, faces uphill Senate fight

Poll Finds Most Women Back Abortion Restrictions

Violent Crime in U.S. Rises for Second Consecutive Year

List of mayors of Las Vegas [Wikipedia]

Republicans Introduce 20-Week Abortion Ban in the Senate

H.R.36 – Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, 115th Congress (2017-2018)

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Show transcript

The US House of Representatives recently passed the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act in a near party-line vote of 237-189. This act would ban abortions after 20 weeks except in the cases of rape, incest or threat to the life of the mother. This has passed before, but it was mostly symbolic, since with Obama in the White House, it would never get signed. However, now that Trump is in there, and has stated he would sign it if it made it to his desk, only the Senate is standing in the way.

As the bill’s name notes, a fetus can feel pain at 20 weeks. Premature children born at 20 weeks can laugh, cry and feel pain. You wouldn’t consider dismembering a child like that, but someone being out of sight is indeed out of mind, at least for some people.

Some might say that only 2 percent of abortions in this country occur after 20 weeks, so this is not going to make much of a difference. Well, 2 things. One, then passing this shouldn’t be a big deal, should it? And two, do you know how many children that is? The Congressional Budget Office estimates that about 10,000 children will be spared by this legislation. Democrats have often been heard to use the phrase, “if it will save just one life, it’ll be worth it”, when describing their latest bit of governmental paternalism. Yeah, well, if they’re not interested in saving 10,000, how can we believe them about the 1?

But do the American people really want this to pass? Well, I’m glad you asked. In a Marist poll back in January, they asked about views on abortion. Turns out that 74% of people nationwide support limiting abortion to – at most – the first trimester. Some, of course, would like to make that time period shorter, but almost three-quarters would be good with a restriction of no abortions after 3 months. “But wait”, you may be saying, “what about asking only women what they think?” Well, they did, and 77% of women agreed, 3 points higher than the national average. And most interesting to me was that over half of those who labeled themselves “pro-choice” also agreed with that limitation!

“But wait”, you may be saying, “do these people think it’s that much of a priority for the government?” Turns out that 59% of the general population think it’s an important or even immediate priority. And if you ask just the women, that number is bumped up to 61%.

The Women’s March that took place in the early days of the Trump administration was meant to show how women were united against him. Noticeably absent, however, were the pro-life voices. The tolerance that the Left keeps claiming it has keeps getting lost in the politics. To them, feminism is made up of, not just general principles, but political ones. However, it appears that there is something that unites women even more; the issue of abortion.

“But wait”, you may be saying if you’re a politically liberal feminist, “shut up!”

The headline from the New York Times from September 25th sounded foreboding. It said, “Violent Crime in U.S. Rises for Second Consecutive Year”. But read the first paragraph, and you’ll see a trend I’ve been documenting on this show. “Violent crime, including homicides, rose for the second consecutive year in 2016, driven by increases in a few urban centers including Baltimore, Chicago and Las Vegas, according to F.B.I. data released Monday.”

Now, I’ve already noted that Baltimore and Chicago have been run by Democrats for what seems like forever. I haven’t mentioned Las Vegas, but since the Times did, I looked it up. Yup, run by Democrats since 1975.

I understand that if you put that many people together in a smaller space, you’re going to get more crime. But perhaps there are new ideas that could be tried to reduce it even in those confined spaces. But we’ll never find out if those ideas – for crime or poverty or whatever – will work if they’re never tried. And of course, this means a change in voting, and that only happens if the voters in those cities are willing to get out of the rut they’re in, thinking that more of the same will result in new outcomes.

Is changing voting patterns a guarantee of better outcomes? No. But there is a guarantee if the patterns don’t change.

I’ve not done this before in the 5 years this podcast has been around, but I am now. While Republicans have either not really tried to deal with the abortion issue, or they’ve tried under a Democratic President, this time things look better. However, Democrats have enough to mount a filibuster, and I’m quite sure they’ll do that, because they did in 2015 when this same bill was introduced.

And even if your Senators are Republican, call them, too. 46 Republican Senators are cosponsoring the bill, and they need to be urged to stay the course. However, 6 did not. They are Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), Cory Gardner (R-Colorado), Susan Collins (R-Maine), Dean Heller (R-Nevada), Lamar Alexander (R-Tennessee), and Shelly Moore Capito (R-West Virginia). They need to be brought on board.

Further, there are Democratic Senators that are in states that Trump carried in 2016 and who are up for re-election in 2018. They are Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), Tammy Baldwin (D-Wisconsin), Jon Tester (D-Montana), Claire McCaskill (D-Missouri), Bill Nelson (D-Florida), and Heidi Heitkamp (D-North Dakota). Tell them that America wants this bill, and that the lives of children depend on them.

And hey, even if I didn’t mention a senator from your state, call them anyway. We need to light up the switchboards – do they even have switchboards anymore? – to confirm to them that those polls weren’t manipulated and, yes, we want this bill to pass. There is a link in the show notes to a web page where you can look up the name of your senator and get their phone number and, if you prefer, a contact web page where you can send them an email. I don’t think it’s been given a bill number in the Senate yet, but in the House it was HR36, the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act.

Let’s make this happen because this time, it literally is “for the children”. Make some noise and get your Senator to consider this.

Filed under: Abortion