The House of Representatives passed legislation banning abortion of most pregnancies after 20-weeks, Tuesday evening.
The “Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act,” sponsored by Arizona Republican Rep. Trent Franks, passed by a margin of 228 to 196.
The White House has threatened to veto the legislation and the bill is not likely to be taken up in the Democratic-controlled Senate.
“Passage of today’s landmark bill marks the first time in history, in either chamber of the U.S. Congress, that affirmative protection has been extended to unborn children,” Franks said upon the bill’s passage. “It is my prayer that today also marks a day when America finally opens her eyes to the humanity of these little victims and the inhumanity of what is being done to them.”
The bill has been welcomed by pro-life advocates and rejected by the pro-choice community.
“Today, women led the vote and the lobbying on a monumental bill. After the Kermit Gosnell trial, the American people were horrified and demanded action and, today, the House answered by passing the Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Act,” Concerned Women for America president and CEO Penny Nance said.
“Gosnell was not an aberration, and we praise the legislators who acted to prevent future babies from the same fate. Now the battle moves to the Senate,” she added, in reference to the Philadelphia abortionist convicted of murder last month.
Upon passage of the bill, National Organization for Women president Terry O’Neill said NOW is “appalled” at the bill’s passage, adding that the GOP’s “war on women” is not over.
“No amount of softening rhetoric or moderate posturing will change the harsh reality that today’s GOP is out of step and out of touch when it comes to women,” she said. “We at NOW are not fooled, and neither are women voters.”
The bill would ban abortions after 20 weeks nationwide. After Franks drew fire for a comment he made in committee, that cases of “rape resulting in pregnancy are very low,” a provision was inserted into the bill to make exceptions for rape and incest. The bill also includes an exception if the life of the mother is endangered.