by Debra Braun
The U.S. Senate on January 29 failed to pass the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act in part because 14 self-identified “Catholic” Senators voted to allow abortions past 20 weeks fetal age (22 weeks LMP) to continue in this country. These Catholic Senators included Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota and Chuck Schumer of New York, who exchanged a disturbing congratulatory “high-five” after the vote (see photo). Fortunately, pro-life Rep. Kevin Cramer has announced his candidacy for Heitkamp’s seat in this fall’s election.
There is solid scientific evidence to show that unborn babies feel pain as early as 8 weeks, but certainly by 20 weeks. Also, in 2015, the New England Journal of Medicine reported a study declaring that the new standard of viability is 20 weeks fetal age. The U.S. is one of just seven countries that permit elective abortions after 20 weeks, a policy which more than 60% of the people in this country oppose.
Pro-Life Action Ministries is committed to ending ALL abortions, not just those after a certain point. However, if the Senate had passed this bill, thousands of lives could have been saved every year. This was one of the first votes in Congress that would have directly halted at least some of the killing.
There is no difference in the dignity of an unborn child at conception, or 20 weeks, or moments before birth. However, many in the general public are especially uncomfortable with abortions in mid to late pregnancy and the knowledge that these abortions are happening right in their neighborhoods may gradually bring them to the realization that ALL abortions are wrong. In just one three-week period in the Twin Cities, our sidewalk counselors encountered six couples aborting babies around 20 weeks. One of these situations involved twins. Another involved a baby with Downs syndrome. Usually the reason given for the abortion was relationship problems or not wanting another child at this time. Fortunately, we were able to save two of these babies. Tragically, we believe the other five babies were killed, including the baby with Downs syndrome and the twins.
All the abortion mills in Central Florida kill babies past 20 weeks, three of the four abortion mills in the Twin Cities advertise late abortions (not Robbinsdale), and the Duluth mill kills babies up to 16 weeks. On January 29, as part of their “Exposed: Late Term Abortion” project, Abortion Free New Mexico and Priests for Life recorded an undercover call to Whole Woman’s abortion mill in Minneapolis. Here is an excerpt:
Caller: I’m 22 weeks and I was just wondering, like — I’m healthy. The baby’s healthy. I just don’t want to continue the pregnancy. Like, is that legal in Minnesota?
Whole Woman’s (WW): Yes, it is.
WW: You can have an abortion for any reason up to 23 weeks and 6 days in the state of Minnesota. (Editor’s note — Actually, there is no law in Minnesota banning abortions past this point.)
To listen to this and more than 30 similar calls to late-term abortion centers around the country, go to: www.priestsforlife.org/latetermabortion/listen.aspx
You may recall that the founder and CEO of Whole Woman’s was caught on a Center for Medical Progress undercover video admitting to trafficking in the body parts of aborted babies. Essentially, she illegally sold body parts to Advanced Bioscience Resources (ABR), which illegally sold them to the University of Minnesota, which did illegal experiments with them. See this at www.plam.org/baby-parts-trafficking-by-minneapolis-abortion-mill
Last June we released a video testimony of a woman who had gone to Planned Parenthood in St. Paul for an abortion at 22 weeks, 1 day. When she asked the abortionist what would happen if the baby came out alive, the abortionist responded, “Most likely, we would break the baby’s neck.” This shocking video is posted on the home page at www.plam.org. Thank God the woman changed her mind with the help of our sidewalk counselors! She is so grateful to have her son. She also revealed to us that someone she knows was told the same thing. Sadly, that woman went through with the abortion.
To see a medical diagram and a video description of an abortion past 20 weeks, go to: http://www.priestsforlife.org/resources/medical/deexplanation.htm
In a related story, on March 19, Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant signed a bill that bans nearly all abortions after 15 weeks in that state, effective immediately.