Shea-Porter Opposes H.R.36, the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act
WASHINGTON, DC – Congresswoman Carol Shea-Porter (NH-01) released the following statement after voting “no” on H.R.36, the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, which passed the House today with a vote of 237-189:
“This legislation is dangerous to the rights, health, and safety of American women. This bill attempts to put the government between women and their doctor based on inaccurate and unscientific claims. Pregnancy is usually a joyful time, but for some families it poses dangerous health risks and extremely difficult decisions that should be made between a woman, her doctor, and her loved ones, not politicians.”
Leading provider groups and medical experts agree that this bill would put women in danger. For example, the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) says: “The clear consensus by leading medical groups is that a ban on abortion after 20 weeks would interfere with the physician-patient relationship at a time when women are in need of empathetic, respectful and evidence-based care. These medical decisions should be made solely by each individual woman in consultation with those she trusts the most, including her obstetrician-gynecologist – not politicians.”
Rigorous scientific reviews of the evidence on fetal pain published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) and the Journal of Maternal, Fetal and Neonatal Medicine have concluded as recently as 2012 that fetal perception of pain is unlikely before the third trimester.