Letter to Smith and Conyers: D.C. Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act (H.R. 3803)

By Richard Land
Jul 18, 2012

The following is a letter expressing support for the District of Columbia Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act (H.R. 3803), which would prohibit in the nation’s capital the abortion of unborn babies who have reached 20 weeks post-fertilization or later, except to save the life of the mother, based on scientific evidence that babies can feel pain by this stage of development, if not earlier.

The letter, sent to House Judiciary Committee Chairman Lamar Smith (R-TX) and Ranking Member John Conyers (D-MI), urged them to swiftly report H.R. 3803 out of committee for full House consideration.

Download (PDF) this document on letterhead. (135 KB)

Here is a reprint of the letter:

July 18, 2012

The Honorable Lamar Smith
Chairman, Judiciary Committee
U.S. House of Representatives
2138 Rayburn House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515

The Honorable John Conyers
Ranking Member, Judiciary Committee
U.S. House of Representatives
2138 Rayburn House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515

Dear Chairman Smith and Ranking Member Conyers:

We write to urge your support to swiftly report out of the Judiciary Committee for full House consideration the District of Columbia Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act (H.R. 3803), which would prohibit in the nation’s capital the abortion of unborn babies who have reached 20 weeks post-fertilization or later, except to save the life of the mother. The Southern Baptist Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission enthusiastically supports this bill and urges all committee members to do the same by voting for the measure in markup and rejecting any hostile amendments.

As you well know and as H.R. 3803 reports in its findings, strong scientific research demonstrates that by 20 weeks after fertilization—if not much earlier—unborn babies have the capacity to feel pain. By this stage of development, pain receptors are present throughout an unborn baby’s body, with nerves connecting the receptors to the brain. It therefore comes as no surprise to us that, as medical studies have shown, when babies at this stage of development are subjected to stimuli that adults would recognize as painful, the unborn likewise react adversely, such as by recoiling.

Yet it is alarming that Congress, which has been granted legislative jurisdiction over the District of Columbia under Article I, Section 8 of the Constitution, allows this heinous practice of aborting pain-capable unborn children to continue in the nation’s capital. This atrocious practice must be stopped.

The District of Columbia Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, sponsored by Rep. Trent Franks, is a much-needed response to the terrible human rights injustice of abortions of pain-capable babies in D.C. We urge you and all committee members to support enactment of H.R. 3803 and to reject any weakening amendments during the committee markup.

Sincerely,

Richard D. Land

Download (PDF) this document on letterhead. (135 KB)

Further Learning

Learn more about: Life, Abortion, Citizenship, Legislation,

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