Press Releases

Franks introduces DC Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act

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Washington, Apr 26, 2013 | comments

Friday, April 2

WASHINGTON, D.C. – After introducing the District of Columbia Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act today, a bill that would restrict abortions after the 20th week of pregnancy in the District of Columbia, Congressman Trent Franks (AZ-08) released the following statement:

"The graphic accounts from abortionist doctor Kermit Gosnell's murder trial remind us that abortion is a brutal and torturous enterprise.  This trial brings to light the gruesome nature of what happens in abortion clinics all across the country, including our nation’s Capital where abortions are legal up to the moment of birth.

"Today, I, along with 94 co-sponsors, introduced the District of Columbia Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, a bill to restrict abortions in the District of Columbia beyond the 20th week of development.  The medical community has reached a clear consensus that unborn children at this stage, and perhaps even in earlier stages, can feel pain. 

"I am astonished that opponents of my bill argue that it usurps local authority.  To the contrary, it is precisely because the Constitution grants "exclusive" authority to Congress to create “Legislation in all Cases whatsoever” for D.C. that I felt compelled to introduce this bill.  If Congress fails to act, the District could become a safe haven for late-term abortionists who are stripped of their licenses in the states for negligence, and there is some evidence that this has already happened.  Several states, including my home state of Arizona, have already signed similar legislation into law.

"The District of Columbia has always had an abysmal record where the protection of unborn children is concerned.  Now is the time for my colleagues to step up to our Constitutional responsibility and not sit idly by while this grotesque and brutal procedure, which rips the live pain capable babies apart limb by limb, continues in the national Capital of the land of the free and the home of the brave." 



Congressman Franks is serving his sixth term in the U.S. House of Representatives and is a member of the Judiciary Committee, where he serves as Chairman of the Subcommittee on the Constitution and a member of the Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, Homeland Security, and Investigations. He is also a member of the Armed Services Committee, where he serves on the Strategic Forces Subcommittee and the Subcommittee on Intelligence, Emerging Threats, and Capabilities.


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