Pro-life Republicans argued that abortion should be outlawed after 20-weeks of pregnancy because fetuses are able to feel pain at that point — a highly disputed claim. Under the District of Columbia Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, doctors who performed an abortion after 20 weeks of pregnancy could face up to two years in prison. The law would not make exceptions for cases of rape or incest.
Lee had previously introduced the legislation as a stand-alone bill. But the bill had little chance of passing in the Democratic-led Senate.
“Protecting unborn children from experiencing pain should not be controversial,” he said in February. “Similar laws have already been passed in multiple states. With respect to the Federal District, Congress not only has the responsibility to act immediately, but also the undisputed authority to do so.”
Eric W. Dolan
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