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NRLC Letter to U.S. Senate Urges Cosponsorship of District of Columbia Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act (S.2103)

February 14th, 2012 No comments

 

February 14, 2012
                                                       RE: The District of Columbia Pain-Capable
                                                       Unborn Child Protection Act (S. 2103)

Dear Senator:

The National Right to Life Committee (NRLC), the nationwide federation of state right-to-life organizations, urges you to cosponsor the District of Columbia Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act (S. 2103).

This vital legislation, which is a top priority for NRLC during 2012, was introduced on February 13 by Senator Mike Lee. (The House companion bill, H.R. 3803, was introduced on January 23 by Congressman Trent Franks.) The bill contains legislative findings and operative language very similar to bills already enacted in five states during 2010 and 2011: Nebraska, Kansas, Idaho, Oklahoma, and Alabama. None of these laws have faced any serious legal challenge to date.

Like those state laws, S. 2103 contains findings of fact regarding the medical evidence that unborn children experience pain at least by 20 weeks after fertilization (which is 22 weeks in the “LMP” system, or about the start of the sixth month), and prohibits abortion after that point, except when an acute physical condition endangers the life of the mother.

Some of the extensive evidence that unborn children have the capacity to experience pain, at least by 20 weeks, is available on the NRLC website at http://www.nrlc.org/abortion/Fetal_Pain/index.html

Additional state legislatures will be taking up similar legislation during the months ahead. However, there is one substantial jurisdiction over which the U.S. Constitution places legislative responsibility solely on the shoulders of the Congress: The District of Columbia. Article I, Section 8 of the Constitution dictates unequivocally that Congress shall “exercise exclusive legislation in all cases whatsoever, over such District . . .”

Currently, in our nation’s capital, unborn children may legally be killed at any point up to birth, for any reason. Abortions are advertised, and performed, in the sixth month and later. This means that unborn children who are capable of experiencing excruciating pain are killed every day – most often, by a method in which arms and legs are twisted off by brute manual force, as the abortionist guides his forceps using an ultrasound image. A medical illustration of this common method (“D&E”) is posted here.

Another advertised method, in the seventh month and later, involves thrusting a needle into the unborn child’s heart and injecting a lethal substance.

Under the Constitution, only the Congress – and, if he would, the President – have the responsibility for putting an end to these brutal practices. The National Right to Life Committee urges you to join the campaign to protect pain-capable unborn children in the nation’s capital, by adding your name as a cosponsor of S. 2103 (contact:Ryan_McCoy@lee.senate.gov), and by working for its expeditious enactment.
Respectfully,

Douglas Johnson
Legislative Director
National Right to Life Committee (NRLC)

NRLC Letter to U.S. Senate: Support the Blunt Respect for Rights of Conscience Amendment

February 14th, 2012 No comments

February 14, 2012

                                             RE: Senator Blunt’s Respect for Rights of Conscience amendment

Dear Senator:

The National Right to Life Committee (NRLC), the nationwide federation of state right-to-life organizations, strongly supports Senator Blunt’s amendment (No. 1520) to the pending transportation bill, and intends to include any roll call on the Blunt amendment in the NRLC scorecard of key pro-life issues for the 112th Congress.

The text of the amendment is taken directly from the Respect for Rights of Conscience Act (S. 1467). It would amend the Obama health care law (“ObamaCare”) to prevent the imposition of regulatory mandates that violate the religious or moral convictions of those who purchase or provide health insurance.

When the health care legislation was pending in the Senate in 2009, NRLC warned that the “preventive health services” provision would empower the Secretary of Health and Human Services to mandate coverage of any medical service, including abortion, merely by adding the service to a fluid list. Predictably, the Administration has begun with a decree covering all FDA-approved birth control methods – a mandate that, unless overturned, will produce an irreconcilable conflict between conscience and the coercive force of government for many employers. But this is not a debate only about the specific parameters of the birth-control mandate. Exactly the same statutory authority could be used by the Secretary, next year or the year after that, to mandate that all health plans pay for elective abortion on demand.

This concern is underscored by the rationale that the Administration offered last week as part of its so-called “accommodation,” under which certain insurers will be directly required to offer coverage of birth control methods without copayments, while forbidden to charge anything extra for this option. The White House argued that the expanded use of birth control will save any health plan money, and therefore, nobody is really paying for it. The same twisted logic could be employed to justify the future abortion mandate: By ordering health plans to cover elective abortion, health plans would save the much higher costs of prenatal care, childbirth, and care for the baby.

(It is sometimes asserted that the ObamaCare law contains language prohibiting the federal government from mandating that health plans cover abortions. In reality, the law prevents the Secretary of HHS from including abortion in a list of federally mandated “essential health benefits,” but those provisions are entirely separate and distinct from the “preventive services” authority that the Administration has employed as the basis for the birth control mandate, and would employ for a future abortion mandate.)

The Blunt amendment goes to the heart of the problem by amending the ObamaCare law itself, to prevent provisions of the law from being used as a basis for regulatory mandates that violate the religious or moral convictions of those who purchase or provide health insurance. A vote against this amendment is, in effect, a vote to allow just such mandates. NRLC strongly urges your support for this vital pro-life amendment.
Respectfully,

                                       
Douglas Johnson                                                                     Susan T. Muskett, J.D.
Legislative Director                                                                 Senior Legislative Counsel