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house Bill H.R. 36

Should The U.S. Ban Abortions After 20 Weeks Of Pregnancy?

Argument in favor

Unborn babies can feel pain after 20 weeks of pregnancy. Abortions outside of that timeframe should be outlawed to ensure the safety and well-being of unborn life.

Anthony's Opinion
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05/13/2015
If time of death is determined when the heart stops, then life begins when the heart begins to beat
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05/13/2015
The flawed idea that limiting abortions after 20 weeks somehow violates women's rights is a ridiculous argument. It is not even a matter of "reproductive health" as the left likes to portray it as. It is a matter of morality; inflicting pain on an infant while in the womb is vicious and unnecessary. It's not about limiting "a woman's right to choose what she does to her own body"; it's about protecting a vulnerable and defenseless human life. Besides, if the fetus is male, it's not "her body" because it has different chromosomes and a completely different genetic make-up. Think about it. If a woman wants to have an abortion, she has plenty of time to decide before 20 weeks. She should know before then whether she wants to keep the child or not. I'm black and white on this issue. Anything after implantation of the embryo in the uterine wall (minus spontaneous abortions which are not induced but occur naturally as the body's mechanism to prevent damaged or defective embryos from developing into fetuses) is murder of another human being. Plain and simple. It's not about a woman's right. Most of the time, it's about convenience and a reluctance to take responsibility for one's own actions. This is why I'm a big proponent of birth control and other forms of contraception. Prevent the fertilization or implantation and the question of abortion is no longer even an issue.
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Sabra18's Opinion
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02/11/2015
The government has no business dictating a woman's healthcare choices- the decision is personal and should not be regulated
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Argument opposed

The male legislators who proposed this bill should not have a say on what women choose to do with their bodies. This bill tramples on women's reproductive rights.

Kayte's Opinion
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02/11/2015
Abortions after 20 weeks are tragic, difficult decisions that in an ideal world would be avoided- but banning them does not allow for the complicated circumstances that can surround pregnancies such as life threatening illnesses, quality of life issues, financial issues, or fetal abnormalities.
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Michael's Opinion
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05/13/2015
The government has no place in the private decisions made between a patient and doctor. Stop trying to legislate opinion.
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Noah's Opinion
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05/13/2015
After 5 months, it is my personal belief that abortion be avoided if possible except in the case of rape, incest, or health issues that will kill or irreversibly injure the mother or child.
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bill Progress


  • Not enacted
    The President has not signed this bill
  • The senate has not voted
  • The house Passed May 13th, 2015
    Roll Call Vote 242 Yea / 184 Nay
      house Committees
      Constitution, Civil Rights, and Civil Liberties
      Committee on the Judiciary
    IntroducedJanuary 6th, 2015

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What is House Bill H.R. 36?

The Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act bans abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy. The law cites congressional findings about the development of the fetus. It makes exceptions for abortions if the mother’s life is threatened by the pregnancy or if the pregnancy was a result of rape or incest.

If enacted, anyone who violates the bill could face a fine, up to five years in prison, or both. The bill defines abortion as any medication or procedure “to intentionally kill the unborn child of a woman known to be pregnant”.

UPDATE: 5/13/2015: After pulling this bill from a vote at the start of the 114th Congress, House Republicans are bringing it back for consideration. With some changes to the legislation, namely around survivors of sexual assault, sponsors are feeling more confident. As Think Progress explains: 

"The amended version of the bill does not require rape victims to report their assaults to the authorities. That change technically eliminates the sticking point that thwarted the legislation at the beginning of the year... As the bill is currently written, rape survivors may only circumvent the ban on post-20-week abortions if they sought counseling or medical care within 48 hours of the procedure. If they visited an abortion clinic for either of those services, it doesn’t count."

Impact

Pregnant women in the U.S., pro and anti-abortion activist groups, healthcare providers that offer abortions, hospitals that offer prenatal care, and Medicare.

Cost of House Bill H.R. 36

$17.00 Million
Keeping in mind the additional fees that come with delivering more babies that otherwise would have been aborted, and the extra costs of abortions that are performed before the 20 week limit — the CBO estimates that H.R. 36 would increase federal budget deficits by $75 million over the 2015-2020 period and $235 million over the 2015-2025 period.

More Information

In Depth: 

H.R. 36 was introduced in the 113th Congress as H.R.1797, where it was approved in House in June 2013. The 20-week abortion ban this act hopes to accomplish would directly challenge the Supreme Court's Roe v. Wade decision that protects a woman's right to abort a pregnancy around 22 to 24 weeks. 

The Obama administration has already threatened to veto this bill if it ever makes it passed both chambers to the President's desk. In a White House statement, the administration noted that it: 
"strongly opposes H.R. 36, which would unacceptably restrict women's health and reproductive rights and is an assault on a woman's right to choose. Women should be able to make their own choices about their bodies and their health care, and government should not inject itself into decisions best made between a woman and her doctor."

Sponsoring Rep. Trent Franks (R-AZ) has noted in his press releases, and in the actual title of the bill, that his motivation for sponsoring H.R. 36 is to end pain for unborn babies:  

"More than 18,000 'very late term' abortions are performed every year on perfectly healthy unborn babies in America. These are innocent and defenseless children who can not only feel pain, but who can survive outside of the womb in most cases, and who are torturously killed without even basic anesthesia." 


Media:

(Photo Credit: Flickr user urbandon)

AKA

Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act

Official Title

To amend title 18, United States Code, to protect pain-capable unborn children, and for other purposes.

    If time of death is determined when the heart stops, then life begins when the heart begins to beat
    Like (135)
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    Abortions after 20 weeks are tragic, difficult decisions that in an ideal world would be avoided- but banning them does not allow for the complicated circumstances that can surround pregnancies such as life threatening illnesses, quality of life issues, financial issues, or fetal abnormalities.
    Like (256)
    Follow
    Share
    The flawed idea that limiting abortions after 20 weeks somehow violates women's rights is a ridiculous argument. It is not even a matter of "reproductive health" as the left likes to portray it as. It is a matter of morality; inflicting pain on an infant while in the womb is vicious and unnecessary. It's not about limiting "a woman's right to choose what she does to her own body"; it's about protecting a vulnerable and defenseless human life. Besides, if the fetus is male, it's not "her body" because it has different chromosomes and a completely different genetic make-up. Think about it. If a woman wants to have an abortion, she has plenty of time to decide before 20 weeks. She should know before then whether she wants to keep the child or not. I'm black and white on this issue. Anything after implantation of the embryo in the uterine wall (minus spontaneous abortions which are not induced but occur naturally as the body's mechanism to prevent damaged or defective embryos from developing into fetuses) is murder of another human being. Plain and simple. It's not about a woman's right. Most of the time, it's about convenience and a reluctance to take responsibility for one's own actions. This is why I'm a big proponent of birth control and other forms of contraception. Prevent the fertilization or implantation and the question of abortion is no longer even an issue.
    Like (114)
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    The government has no place in the private decisions made between a patient and doctor. Stop trying to legislate opinion.
    Like (79)
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    After 5 months, it is my personal belief that abortion be avoided if possible except in the case of rape, incest, or health issues that will kill or irreversibly injure the mother or child.
    Like (66)
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    The government has no business dictating a woman's healthcare choices- the decision is personal and should not be regulated
    Like (52)
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    This is not a woman's right issue. It is a moral issue. While I personally am opposed to abortion at any stage after conception at this advanced stage of development the woman carrying the child has forfeited her right to kill her unborn child.
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    I have always wondered why Republicans say they want less government and want the government out of people lives yet, they are always interfering with woman's health. They want to separate government and people. So ,why can't they stay out a woman's right to choose. Unless you have a vagina and Fallopian tubes and are gonna carry a baby than don't tell a women what to do. Worry about getting them equal pay for equal work. -Deneiro Sanders a smart guy who believes women are smart individuals.
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    Government should not cast religous beliefs on all americans. The current 24 week limit is just fine.
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    After 5 months of pregnancy, the baby is now a living human with a beating heart.
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    Why don't existing murder statutes address this?
    Like (29)
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    Can congress please pass a bill which provides financial and transportation help to pregnant women who want to get an abortion but do not have adequate means to get one? Putting those services in place is a more helpful way of lowering the number of late term abortions.
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    It is no longer the right of a woman to choose when she has a forming human being inside of her...especially one that can feel pain!
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    It is MY choice that I should ONLY need to discuss with my DOCTOR. Congress has no right to be concerning itself with my vagina and it's health.
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    There are many circumstances where this is necessary. Banning it outright will not stop abortions from happening as patients may be forced to take unsafe measures. And besides, men should not be allowed to vote on what women can/cannot do with their bodies. It is not their place.
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    While I am generally in favor of little government intervention, 20 weeks seems far too long a time into pregnancy to decide to get an abortion. Although I question the validity that unborn babies can feel pain at this time, if we keep this policy in place and it turns out they can actually feel pain it really leaves a depressing taste behind.
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    These men do not know what they are doing I have a wife, daughters and granddaughters who deserve better - this issue should have been over many years ago - abortion like prostitution is as old as the human race lets handle these issues in a responsible manner and use medicine to aid those in need
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    Men should stay out of a woman's right to choose their reproductive health issues. To use religion as reasoning through the issue is to include religion with politics. It sets a dangerous precedent. When a legislator has a Y chromosome in his DNA, he should sit down and shut up. The only people on this planet that should have any opinion is the woman making the decisions that involve her body and her reproductive rights. All other arguments are moot.
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    "I urge Congress to support the late-term abortion ban today. We need to stand up for life and the most vulnerable among us. #HR36" -@JebBush
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    I don't have the answers to the question of when sentient life begins. I also think that abortions after 20 weeks are rare and often because of a medical issue. I'll leave this with women to decide. It's none of my business.
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