House Republicans Push For Possible 15-Week Abortion Ban

Nicole Silverio Media Reporter
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A handful of House Republicans are looking to revive and pass legislation intended to ban abortion after 15-weeks of pregnancy after the Supreme Court’s overturn of Roe v. Wade.

Republican New Jersey Rep. Chris Smith, a leading voice in the congressional pro-life movement, told CNN he is planning to lower his initial 20-week ban to 15 weeks within his proposed, “The Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act.” The bill previously passed in the House in 2013 when Republicans controlled the chamber, and many are confident it could pass if Republicans regain control of the House and Senate in November.

“We’re working on something along those lines,” Smith said when asked about a nationwide abortion ban. “I have the ‘Pain Capable’ at 20 weeks. We’re going to lower it to 15. There are all kinds of ideas there.”

The representative admitted the bill is highly unlikely to pass the Senate filibuster, CNN reported.

The bill passed the Republican-controlled House a second time in 2015, then again in 2017.

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy has expressed his support for a 15-week abortion ban, though has not committed to putting any pro-life legislation forth, the outlet reported. Other supporters include Reps. Jim Jordan of Ohio, Jim Banks of Indiana, and Mike Johnson of Louisiana. (RELATED: DeSantis Promises To Expand ‘Pro-Life Protections’ After Roe Overturn)

Republican Rep. Ann Wagner expressed confidence that her “Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act,” which requires medical professionals to provide care to an infant surviving abortion, will pass, CNN reported. The bill, also introduced in the Senate by Republican Nebraska Sen. Ben Sasse, has been stalled but could revive due to the Court’s decision.

A stricter ban that could advance after Republicans regain control of the House and Senate is the federal Heartbeat Bill, which intends to ban abortion procedures after a fetal heartbeat is detected at 6 weeks gestation, CNN reported. The bill has the support of over 100 House Republicans and has already been passed in Texas. Oklahoma passed legislation in April banning all abortions except in the case of a medical emergency for the mother.

The Court ruled in the case, Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, that the Constitution protects Mississippi’s right to pass a 15-week abortion ban that directly challenged Roe v. Wade, which prohibited states from banning the procedure until fetal viability at 24 weeks. Justice Samuel Alito, who authored the majority opinion, wrote that Roe was “egregiously wrong from the start.”

“We hold that Roe and Casey must be overruled. The Constitution makes no reference to abortion, and no such right is implicitly protected by any constitutional provision, including the one on which the defenders of Roe and Casey now chiefly rely—the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment,” Alito wrote. “That provision has been held to guarantee some rights that are not mentioned in the Constitution, but any such right must be ‘deeply rooted in this Nation’s history and tradition’ and ‘implicit in the concept of ordered liberty.’”