PAIN-CAPABLE UNBORN CHILD PROTECTION ACT
(House of Representatives - June 18, 2013)

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[Pages H3730-H3743]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]




                PAIN-CAPABLE UNBORN CHILD PROTECTION ACT

  Mr. GOODLATTE. Madam Speaker, pursuant to House Resolution 266, I 
call up the bill (H.R. 1797) to amend title 18, United States Code, to 
protect pain-capable unborn children in the District of Columbia, and 
for other purposes, and ask for its immediate consideration.
  The Clerk read the title of the bill.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. Pursuant to House Resolution 266, in lieu of 
the amendment in the nature of a substitute recommended by the 
Committee on the Judiciary printed in the bill, an amendment in the 
nature of a substitute consisting of the text of Rules Committee Print 
113-15 is adopted and the bill, as amended, is considered read.
  The text of the bill, as amended, is as follows:

                               H.R. 1797

       Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of 
     the United States of America in Congress assembled,

     SEC. 1. SHORT TITLE.

       This Act may be cited as the ``Pain-Capable Unborn Child 
     Protection Act''.

     SEC. 2. LEGISLATIVE FINDINGS AND DECLARATION OF 
                   CONSTITUTIONAL AUTHORITY FOR ENACTMENT.

       Congress finds and declares the following:
       (1) Pain receptors (nociceptors) are present throughout the 
     unborn child's entire body and nerves link these receptors to 
     the brain's thalamus and subcortical plate by no later than 
     20 weeks after fertilization.
       (2) By 8 weeks after fertilization, the unborn child reacts 
     to touch. After 20 weeks, the unborn child reacts to stimuli 
     that would be recognized as painful if applied to an adult 
     human, for example, by recoiling.
       (3) In the unborn child, application of such painful 
     stimuli is associated with significant increases in stress 
     hormones known as the stress response.
       (4) Subjection to such painful stimuli is associated with 
     long-term harmful neurodevelopmental effects, such as altered 
     pain sensitivity and, possibly, emotional, behavioral, and 
     learning disabilities later in life.
       (5) For the purposes of surgery on unborn children, fetal 
     anesthesia is routinely administered and is associated with a 
     decrease in stress hormones compared to their level when 
     painful stimuli are applied without such anesthesia. In the 
     United States, surgery of this type is being performed by 20 
     weeks after fertilization and earlier in specialized units 
     affiliated with children's hospitals.
       (6) The position, asserted by some physicians, that the 
     unborn child is incapable of experiencing pain until a point 
     later in pregnancy than 20 weeks after fertilization 
     predominately rests on the assumption that the ability to 
     experience pain depends on the cerebral cortex and requires 
     nerve connections between the thalamus and the cortex. 
     However, recent medical research and analysis, especially 
     since 2007, provides strong evidence for the conclusion that 
     a functioning cortex is not necessary to experience pain.
       (7) Substantial evidence indicates that children born 
     missing the bulk of the cerebral cortex, those with 
     hydranencephaly, nevertheless experience pain.
       (8) In adult humans and in animals, stimulation or ablation 
     of the cerebral cortex does not alter pain perception, while 
     stimulation or ablation of the thalamus does.
       (9) Substantial evidence indicates that structures used for 
     pain processing in early development differ from those of 
     adults, using different neural elements available at specific 
     times during development, such as the subcortical plate, to 
     fulfill the role of pain processing.
       (10) The position, asserted by some commentators, that the 
     unborn child remains in a coma-like sleep state that 
     precludes the unborn child experiencing pain is inconsistent 
     with the documented reaction of unborn children to painful 
     stimuli and with the experience of fetal surgeons who have 
     found it necessary to sedate the unborn child with anesthesia 
     to prevent the unborn child from engaging in vigorous 
     movement in reaction to invasive surgery.
       (11) Consequently, there is substantial medical evidence 
     that an unborn child is capable of experiencing pain at least 
     by 20 weeks after fertilization, if not earlier.
       (12) It is the purpose of the Congress to assert a 
     compelling governmental interest in protecting the lives of 
     unborn children from the stage at which substantial medical 
     evidence indicates that they are capable of feeling pain.
       (13) The compelling governmental interest in protecting the 
     lives of unborn children from the stage at which substantial 
     medical evidence indicates that they are capable of feeling 
     pain is intended to be separate from and independent of the 
     compelling governmental interest in protecting the lives of 
     unborn children from the stage of viability, and neither 
     governmental interest is intended to replace the other.
       (14) Congress has authority to extend protection to pain-
     capable unborn children under the Supreme Court's Commerce 
     Clause precedents and under the Constitution's grants of 
     powers to Congress under the Equal Protection, Due Process, 
     and Enforcement Clauses of the Fourteenth Amendment.

     SEC. 3. PAIN-CAPABLE UNBORN CHILD PROTECTION.

       (a) In General.--Chapter 74 of title 18, United States 
     Code, is amended by inserting after section 1531 the 
     following:

     ``Sec. 1532. Pain-capable unborn child protection

       ``(a) Unlawful Conduct.--Notwithstanding any other 
     provision of law, it shall be unlawful for any person to 
     perform an abortion or attempt to do so, unless in conformity 
     with the requirements set forth in subsection (b).
       ``(b) Requirements for Abortions.--
       ``(1) The physician performing or attempting the abortion 
     shall first make a determination of the probable post-
     fertilization age of the unborn child or reasonably rely upon 
     such a determination made by another physician. In making 
     such a determination, the physician shall make such inquiries 
     of the pregnant woman and perform or cause to be performed 
     such medical examinations and tests as a reasonably prudent 
     physician, knowledgeable about the case and the medical 
     conditions involved, would consider necessary to make an 
     accurate determination of post-fertilization age.
       ``(2)(A) Except as provided in subparagraph (B), the 
     abortion shall not be performed or attempted, if the probable 
     post-fertilization age, as determined under paragraph (1), of 
     the unborn child is 20 weeks or greater.
       ``(B) Subject to subparagraph (C), subparagraph (A) does 
     not apply if--
       ``(i) in reasonable medical judgment, the abortion is 
     necessary to save the life of a pregnant woman whose life is 
     endangered by a physical disorder, physical illness, or 
     physical injury, including a life-endangering physical 
     condition caused by or arising from the pregnancy itself, but 
     not including psychological or emotional conditions; or
       ``(ii) the pregnancy is the result of rape, or the result 
     of incest against a minor, if the rape has been reported at 
     any time prior to the abortion to an appropriate law 
     enforcement agency, or if the incest against a minor has been 
     reported at any time prior to the abortion to an appropriate 
     law enforcement agency or to a government agency legally 
     authorized to act on reports of child abuse or neglect.
       ``(C) Notwithstanding the definitions of `abortion' and 
     `attempt an abortion' in this section, a physician 
     terminating or attempting to terminate a pregnancy under an 
     exception provided by subparagraph (B) may do so only in the 
     manner which, in reasonable medical judgment, provides the 
     best opportunity for the unborn child to survive, unless, in 
     reasonable medical judgment, termination of the pregnancy in 
     that manner would pose a greater risk of--
       ``(i) the death of the pregnant woman; or
       ``(ii) the substantial and irreversible physical impairment 
     of a major bodily function, not including psychological or 
     emotional conditions, of the pregnant woman;
     than would other available methods.
       ``(c) Criminal Penalty.--Whoever violates subsection (a) 
     shall be fined under this title or imprisoned for not more 
     than 5 years, or both.
       ``(d) Bar to Prosecution.--A woman upon whom an abortion in 
     violation of subsection (a) is performed or attempted may not 
     be prosecuted under, or for a conspiracy to violate, 
     subsection (a), or for an offense under section 2, 3, or 4 of 
     this title based on such a violation.
       ``(e) Definitions.--In this section the following 
     definitions apply:
       ``(1) Abortion.--The term `abortion' means the use or 
     prescription of any instrument, medicine, drug, or any other 
     substance or device--
       ``(A) to intentionally kill the unborn child of a woman 
     known to be pregnant; or
       ``(B) to intentionally terminate the pregnancy of a woman 
     known to be pregnant, with an intention other than--
       ``(i) after viability to produce a live birth and preserve 
     the life and health of the child born alive; or
       ``(ii) to remove a dead unborn child.
       ``(2) Attempt an abortion.--The term `attempt', with 
     respect to an abortion, means conduct that, under the 
     circumstances as the actor believes them to be, constitutes a 
     substantial step in a course of conduct planned to culminate 
     in performing an abortion.
       ``(3) Fertilization.--The term `fertilization' means the 
     fusion of human spermatozoon with a human ovum.
       ``(4) Perform.--The term `perform', with respect to an 
     abortion, includes induce an abortion through a medical or 
     chemical intervention including writing a prescription for a 
     drug or device intended to result in an abortion.
       ``(5) Physician.--The term `physician' means a person 
     licensed to practice medicine and surgery or osteopathic 
     medicine and surgery, or otherwise legally authorized to 
     perform an abortion.
       ``(6) Post-fertilization age.--The term `post-fertilization 
     age' means the age of the unborn child as calculated from the 
     fusion of a human spermatozoon with a human ovum.
       ``(7) Probable post-fertilization age of the unborn 
     child.--The term `probable post-fertilization age of the 
     unborn child' means what, in reasonable medical judgment, 
     will with reasonable probability be the postfertilization age 
     of the unborn child at the time the abortion is planned to be 
     performed or induced.
       ``(8) Reasonable medical judgment.--The term `reasonable 
     medical judgment' means a medical judgment that would be made 
     by a reasonably prudent physician, knowledgeable about the 
     case and the treatment possibilities with respect to the 
     medical conditions involved.
       ``(9) Unborn child.--The term `unborn child' means an 
     individual organism of the species homo sapiens, beginning at 
     fertilization, until the point of being born alive as defined 
     in section 8(b) of title 1.
       ``(10) Woman.--The term `woman' means a female human being 
     whether or not she has reached the age of majority.''.
       (b) Clerical Amendment.--The table of sections at the 
     beginning of chapter 74 of title 18,

[[Page H3731]]

     United States Code, is amended by adding at the end the 
     following new item:

``1532. Pain-capable unborn child protection.''.
       (c) Chapter Heading Amendments.--
       (1) Chapter heading in chapter.--The chapter heading for 
     chapter 74 of title 18, United States Code, is amended by 
     striking ``PARTIAL-BIRTH ABORTIONS'' and inserting 
     ``ABORTIONS''.
       (2) Table of chapters for part i.--The item relating to 
     chapter 74 in the table of chapters at the beginning of part 
     I of title 18, United States Code, is amended by striking 
     ``Partial-Birth Abortions'' and inserting ``Abortions''.

  The SPEAKER pro tempore. The gentleman from Virginia (Mr. Goodlatte) 
and the gentlewoman from California (Ms. Lofgren) each will control 30 
minutes.
  The Chair recognizes the gentleman from Virginia.


                             General Leave

  Mr. GOODLATTE. Madam Speaker, I ask unanimous consent that all 
Members may have 5 legislative days within which to revise and extend 
their remarks and include extraneous materials on H.R. 1797, currently 
under consideration.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. Is there objection to the request of the 
gentleman from Virginia?
  There was no objection.
  Mr. GOODLATTE. Madam Speaker, I ask unanimous consent that the 
gentlewoman from Tennessee (Mrs. Blackburn) be permitted to control the 
balance of my time.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. Is there objection to the request of the 
gentleman from Virginia?
  Ms. LOFGREN. Madam Speaker, reserving the right to object, I am 
wondering why a member of the Judiciary Committee is not managing on 
the part of the majority. The chairman is here. We recessed our markup 
so that all members of the Judiciary Committee could be present.
  It is generally our practice for members of the committee of 
jurisdiction to manage on both sides, and so the inquiry is why are we 
departing from that practice?
  Further reserving the right to object, I yield to the gentleman from 
Virginia.
  Mr. GOODLATTE. It is the prerogative of the committee to choose the 
appropriate people to manage time. I notice that the ranking member is 
not managing on the Democratic side. We choose to ask someone who is 
not a member of the committee, and that's appropriate under the rules 
of the House.
  Ms. LOFGREN. I will not object. I just thought it was an unusual 
procedure.
  I withdraw my reservation.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. Is there objection to the request of the 
gentleman from Virginia?
  There was no objection.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. The gentlewoman from Tennessee is 
recognized.
  Mrs. BLACKBURN. Madam Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may 
consume.
  I have to tell you, Madam Speaker, so often we come to the floor and 
we will hear Members say, we are doing this for the children or that 
for the children, and I have to tell you, this is one of those days 
that we truly can stand and say, yes, indeed, we are taking an action 
that will enable so many children to enjoy that first guarantee, that 
guarantee to life. And indeed, that is the reason that we stand here.
  The Unborn Child Protection Act is based in science. This is an area 
that has overwhelming public support, and it is, indeed, an appropriate 
response to Kermit Gosnell's house of horrors and the similar stories 
that we are hearing emanate from across the Nation about what is 
happening in these abortion clinics.
  What this does is to limit abortion at the 6th month of pregnancy and 
includes exceptions so that we can send the clearest possible message 
to the American people that we do not support more Gosnell-like 
abortions.
  It does nothing to ban abortion before the 6th month of pregnancy. It 
does not affect Roe v. Wade, and we know that it is a step that needs 
to be taken to protect life.
  You know, scientific evidence tells us that unborn babies can feel 
touch as soon as 8 weeks into the pregnancy. They feel pain at 20 
weeks. Indeed, some of these marvelous, marvelous fetal surgeries that 
are performed, they administer an anesthesia to these unborn babies.
  And as I said, public opinion polling shows that 60 percent of all 
Americans, Madam Speaker, they support limiting abortion during the 
second trimester, and 80 percent during the third trimester. So we 
think that it is incumbent upon this body to take the step that we 
bring before the Chamber today and to recognize science, to bring the 
law in line with the majority of public opinion, and to stand against 
what has transpired in the Kermit Gosnell-like abortion clinics.
  Indeed, I think it is so noteworthy that Mr. Gosnell's attorney, Jack 
McMahon, stated that he thought the law should be back to 16 or 17 
weeks. He said that 24 weeks was not a good determiner, and that it 
would be a far better thing to have that ban at 16 or 17 weeks.
  We're not pushing back that far. We're at 20 weeks. We think that 
this is an appropriate step.
  At this time, I reserve the balance of my time.
  Ms. LOFGREN. Madam Speaker, I yield myself 3 minutes.
  I rise in opposition to this bill. This will be the 10th vote we've 
had to restrict women's access to health care since Republicans took 
control of the House in 2011, and there are plenty of other things we 
should be doing.
  The bill imposes a nationwide 20-week abortion ban. It's 
unconstitutional, but it's also dangerous to the health and safety of 
American women. The narrow health exception in the bill only allows for 
abortions that are necessary to save the life of a pregnant woman. It's 
shortsighted at best and cruel at worst.
  Many things can go wrong in pregnancy, and this bill would force a 
doctor to wait until a woman's condition was life-threatening before 
performing an abortion.
  Nonlife-threatening conditions couldn't be treated if this bill were 
law, which could result in permanent health problems for some women, 
including infertility.
  Severe or fatal conditions may also arise with a fetus later in 
pregnancy and, if enacted into law, this bill would require some women 
to carry a fetus to term, even in the situation where that fetus has 
been diagnosed with a lethal medical condition, a heartbreaking 
scenario.
  The rape and incest exceptions are insulting and excessively narrow. 
The rape and incest exceptions that were added to the bill after the 
committee's markup are just incredibly disappointing. They require 
reporting the crime to law enforcement prior to seeking care. It shows 
a distrust of women and a lack of understanding of the reality of 
sexual assault.
  Only 35 percent of women report sexual assaults, and there are many 
reasons for that that are complex, including fear of reprisal--78 
percent of rape victims know their offender--shame, wanting to put the 
incident behind them.
  Also, this bill is unconstitutional. It's a direct challenge to Roe 
v. Wade, where the Court held that, prior to viability, abortions may 
be banned only if there are meaningful exceptions to protect the 
woman's life and health. For over four decades these principles have 
been upheld, and this bill blatantly disregards them.

                              {time}  1650

  Finally, I want to urge my colleagues to oppose this bill. It's an 
attack on women's health, on our constitutional freedoms, and it seeks 
to take important medical decisions out of the hands of women, their 
doctors and their families and instead entrust those decisions to 
Congress. It's a misguided effort.
  I oppose the bill, and I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mrs. BLACKBURN. Madam Speaker, at this time, I yield 3 minutes to one 
of our great pro-life advocates, Mrs. Black from Tennessee.
  Mrs. BLACK. I thank the gentlelady for yielding.
  Madam Speaker, when I first became a nurse over 40 years ago, I took 
a vow to ``devote myself to the welfare of those committed to my 
care.'' And it is in this spirit of both protecting life and women's 
health that I'm proud to rise today in support of H.R. 1797, the Pain-
Capable Unborn Child Protection Act.
  Now, this bipartisan legislation would ban late-term abortion after 
20 weeks. I want to say that again. It would ban late-term abortion 
after 20

[[Page H3732]]

weeks, with the exception provided for when the life of the mother is 
endangered.
  H.R. 1797 is based on undisputed scientific evidence which tells us 
that unborn children at 20 weeks and older can feel pain--these are 
babies, they can feel pain--and that late-term abortions pose severe 
health risks also for the mother. For example, a woman seeking an 
abortion at 20 weeks is 35 times more likely to die from an abortion 
than she was in the first trimester. There are medical reasons for 
this. At 21 weeks or more, a woman is 91 times more likely to die from 
an abortion than she was in the first trimester.
  Despite these undisputed facts about a baby's level of development 
and a woman's health, there is currently no Federal law to protect 
pain-capable unborn children or their mothers by restricting late-term 
abortions--even at a day and age when we're seeing premature babies 
that are born at 22 weeks that survive.
  As a society, we celebrate the birth of babies whether it's 
prematurely born at 22 weeks or delivered at full term, and we hope and 
pray for good health of that baby and the mother.
  Today, with that same spirit in mind, I urge my colleagues to join me 
in celebrating and protecting life of both the baby and the mother by 
passing H.R. 1797.
  Ms. LOFGREN. Madam Speaker, I would yield 2 minutes to a former 
member of the Judiciary Committee, Representative Debbie Wasserman 
Schultz.
  Ms. WASSERMAN SCHULTZ. Madam Speaker, I rise to strongly oppose the 
Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act. It has been 40 years since 
Roe v. Wade, and yet women still have to fight for the right to keep 
decisions about our bodies between us and our doctors. We shouldn't 
have to worry that our government will try to intercede in our personal 
health care decisions.
  This bill is extreme, and it's an unprecedented reach into women's 
lives--into women's personal lives. This is a clear indication that the 
well-being of women in this country is not something Republicans care 
to protect. It is clear that the Members who approved this bill, the 
all-male Republican members on the House Judiciary Committee, are not 
only disinterested in protecting the well-being of women but are also 
disinterested in the professional opinion of the medical community.
  We have heard a lot of offensive and downright untrue assertions by 
Republicans throughout the discussion of this bill, including by the 
previous speaker. These assertions are baseless, completely devoid of 
medical fact or grounding in consensus among doctors. No evidence has 
been presented. They just throw statistics out without any citation or 
reference at all. Just because you say it out loud in the House Chamber 
doesn't make it true.
  The Republican men who brought this bill to the floor--despite the 
parade of our women colleagues on the House floor today--do not 
represent the voices of women in America. Every time we let their 
voices get louder than ours, we are inching back to the truly Dark 
Ages--where a world of barriers, from physical to legal to financial, 
stood between women and their constitutional rights. We have worked too 
hard and come too far to let it all slip away now.
  As a mother, when I think about what kind of world I want my 
daughters to live in, it's one where their rights are sacred and their 
value is recognized, and that means having access to comprehensive sex 
education, affordable contraception, and, yes, safe, legal reproductive 
services.
  This bill doesn't work toward creating a better world for future 
generations of women. It erodes their future by undermining their 
independence and undercutting their health. I urge a ``no'' vote on 
this unconstitutional piece of legislation and extreme reach into the 
personal health and well-being of women.
  Mrs. BLACKBURN. I yield 15 seconds to myself to respond.
  A USA Today-Gallup poll: 64 percent, abortions should not be 
permitted in the second 3 months of pregnancy; 80 percent, in the third 
3 months. The polling company on March 3, 2013: 63 percent of women 
believe that abortion should not be permitted after the point where 
substantial medical evidence shows the baby can feel pain.
  At this time, I yield 3 minutes to the gentlewoman from Minnesota 
(Mrs. Bachmann).
  Mrs. BACHMANN. Madam Speaker, it's a privilege to be able to stand 
here today and to speak on behalf of the unborn. I have a picture that 
was taken just yesterday. All of us as parents love to take pictures of 
our babies. This is a picture that was taken of an unborn baby 
yesterday. This is the age of the baby--the youngest age, at 20 weeks, 
that this bill is referencing. And this is a picture of the mom. We're 
here because we care about women. We're here because we care about the 
unborn. That's why I support this wonderful bill that's before our body 
today.
  You see, we had a very recent, disturbing account of a late-term 
abortionist. His name was Kermit Gosnell. His actions have made debates 
like this more important than ever before because, under the guise of 
being a medical professional, you see, Dr. Gosnell violently ended the 
life of viable, unborn babies. And, in turn, he seriously hurt or even 
killed some of the women whom he claimed were his patients.

  A few days ago, the minority leader, Nancy Pelosi, referred to late-
term abortions as sacred ground when voicing opposition to this bill. I 
found that to be a stunning statement. What could possibly be sacred 
about late-term abortion? What could possibly be sacred about 
dismembering this 6-month-old little baby with a pair of scissors as 
Kermit Gosnell did? What could possibly be sacred about listening to 
the whimpers and cries of a baby? Because, you see, we know that babies 
at this age feel pain when scissors are put into their body as it comes 
to an early end.
  You see, we are the people who make the laws in our society, and 
therefore, we have the duty to protect the inalienable right to life of 
every individual, both the mom and the unborn baby. At 8 weeks from 
conception, an unborn child's heart begins to beat. By 20 weeks, he or 
she is capable of sensing pain. And babies as young as 21 weeks have 
survived premature birth.
  Madam Speaker, as a woman and as a mom of five natural-born children 
and 23 foster children, I am appalled by the savage practice of late-
term abortion.
  There is no such thing as an unwanted child, and that's why this 
legislation is so important. It not only protects the unborn, it 
protects the mom against the lethal practices of abortionists like 
Gosnell. And women deserve better than abortion. Unborn children 
deserve their inalienable right to life. Pregnancy is wonderful. It can 
be difficult too. That's why we need to show patience and compassion 
toward every woman as they carry a human life.
  We are, indeed, treading upon sacred ground. But it's because we're 
dealing with the sanctity of every human life. And out of respect for 
this mom and out of respect for this unborn child, I urge my colleagues 
to vote ``yes'' on this commonsense piece of legislation. I thank Mrs. 
Blackburn, and I thank Representative Trent Franks of Arizona.
  Ms. LOFGREN. May I inquire how much time remains?
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. The gentlewoman from California has 25\1/2\ 
minutes remaining. The gentlewoman from Tennessee has 21\1/4\ minutes 
remaining.
  Ms. LOFGREN. Before yielding to the ranking member, I'd just like to 
note the situation of my friend, Vicky Wilson, who found out, 
unfortunately, in the 20th week of her pregnancy that her much-wanted 
and desired child had all of her brains formed outside of the cranium 
and would not survive, and if she carried the fetus to term, likely her 
uterus would have ruptured. Under this bill, Vicky would have been 
forced into that heartbreaking situation. I think that's simply wrong.
  I yield 3 minutes to the ranking member of the Judiciary Committee, 
the gentleman from Michigan (Mr. Conyers).

                              {time}  1700

  Mr. CONYERS. Thank you, Ms. Lofgren. I appreciate this important 
debate and participating in it.
  Members of the House, by imposing a nationwide ban on abortions 
performed after 20 weeks, H.R. 1797, the so-called Pain Capable Unborn 
Child Protection Act, is nothing less than a direct attack on a woman's 
constitutional right

[[Page H3733]]

to make decisions about her health. It criminalizes previability 
abortions with only a narrow exception for the woman's life; it fails 
to include any exceptions for the woman's health; and it utterly 
disregards the often difficult personal circumstance women face when 
confronted with the needs to terminate their pregnancies.
  The amended version of H.R. 1797 made in order by the Rules Committee 
last night attempts to address the nationwide outcry in response to 
comments by the bill's author at the Judiciary Committee's markup that 
``incidents of rape resulting in pregnancy are very low.''
  As amended, the bill now includes only a very limited exception for 
rape and incest that would only be available if the victim could 
demonstrate that she has reported the crime to the proper authorities. 
This reporting mandate isn't even required in the Hyde amendment, and 
it ignores the many reasons why rapes go unreported, including the fear 
of the abuser, fear of how the legal system may treat the victim, and 
shame. In short, the majority has determined that a woman's word is not 
enough to prove that she has been raped or the victim of incest. This 
pernicious legislation would also impose criminal penalties on doctors 
and other medical professionals.
  But let's consider the facts, beginning with the sponsor's comments 
that ``incidents of rape resulting in pregnancy are very low'' and that 
there's no need for an exception.
  On the contrary, rape-induced pregnancy--unfortunately, I'm sad to 
say--occurs with some frequency. For example, the Rape, Abuse, and 
Incest National Network reported that during 2004 and 2005, 64,080 
woman were raped, and of those rapes, 3,204 pregnancies resulted.
  Mrs. BLACKBURN. At this time, I yield 3 minutes to the gentleman from 
Virginia (Mr. Goodlatte).
  Mr. GOODLATTE. I want to thank the gentlewoman from Tennessee and the 
other pro-life women who are speaking out in this debate today.
  Since the Supreme Court's controversial decision in Roe v. Wade in 
1973, medical knowledge regarding the development of unborn babies and 
their capacities at various stages of growth has advanced dramatically. 
Even The New York Times has reported on the latest research on unborn 
pain, focusing in particular on the research of Dr. Sunny Anand, an 
Oxford-trained neonatal pediatrician who has held appointments at 
Harvard Medical School and other distinguished institutions. As Dr. 
Anand has testified:

       If the fetus is beyond 20 weeks of gestation, I would 
     assume that there will be pain caused to the fetus, and I 
     believe it will be severe and excruciating pain.

  Congress has the power to acknowledge these developments by 
prohibiting abortions after the point at which scientific evidence 
shows the unborn can feel pain with limited exceptions. H.R. 1797 does 
just that. It also includes provisions to protect the life of the 
mother and an additional exception for cases of rape and incest.
  The terrifying facts uncovered during the course of the trial of 
late-term abortionist Kermit Gosnell and successive reports of similar 
atrocities committed across the country remind us how an atmosphere of 
insensitivity can lead to horrific brutality.
  The grand jury report in the Gosnell case itself contains references 
to a neonatal expert who reported that the cutting of the spinal cords 
of babies intended to be late-term aborted would cause them ``a 
tremendous amount of pain.''
  The polling company recently found that 64 percent of Americans would 
support a law such as the Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Act--
only 30 percent would oppose it--and supporters include 47 percent of 
those who identified themselves as pro-choice in the poll as well as 63 
percent of women.
  In the 2007 case of Gonzales v. Carhart, the Supreme Court made clear 
that: ``The government may use its voice and its regulatory authority 
to show its profound respect for the life within the woman,'' and that 
Congress may show such respect for the unborn through specific 
regulation because it implicates additional ethical and moral concerns 
that justify a special prohibition.
  As The New York Times story concluded, throughout history, ``a 
presumed insensitivity to pain has been used to exclude some of 
humanity's privileges and protections. Over time, the charmed circle of 
those considered alive to pain, and therefore fully human, has widened 
to include members of other religions and races, the poor, the 
criminal, the mentally ill, and--thanks to the work of Sunny Anand and 
others--the very young.''
  The Gosnell trial reminds us that when newborn babies are cut with 
scissors, they whimper and cry and flinch from pain. And unborn babies, 
when harmed, also whimper and cry and flinch from pain. Delivered or 
not, babies are babies, and they can feel pain at least by 20 weeks.
  It is time to welcome our children who can feel pain into the human 
family. I urge my colleagues to support this legislation.
  Ms. LOFGREN. Madam Chair, before yielding to the ranking member of 
the Constitution Subcommittee, I would just like to note that we do not 
need to change the law. Dr. Gosnell was convicted and he's doing two 
life sentences in prison for murder under current law.
  I yield 3 minutes to the ranking member of the Constitution 
Subcommittee, the gentleman from New York (Mr. Nadler).
  Mr. NADLER. I thank the gentlewoman for yielding.
  Madam Speaker, we're back again considering cruel and 
unconstitutional legislation that would curtail women's reproductive 
rights. This bill contains a nearly total ban on abortions prior to 
viability, which the Supreme Court says violates women's rights under 
the Constitution.
  Just recently, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit struck 
down a nearly identical Arizona statute, saying:

       Since Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court case law concerning 
     the constitutional protection accorded women with respect to 
     the decision whether to undergo an abortion has been 
     unalterably clear regarding one basic point . . . a woman has 
     a constitutional right to choose to terminate her pregnancy 
     before the fetus is viable. A prohibition on the exercise of 
     that right is per se unconstitutional.

  Perhaps most cruelly, this bill fails even to provide any exception 
to protect a woman's health. The exception for a woman's life is so 
narrowly written and so convoluted that even a physician wanting to 
comply with the law in good faith would have trouble determining when 
the woman is sufficiently in extremis that her condition qualifies. So 
the morally arrogant authors of this bill would tell a woman who faces 
permanent injury or disability that she must bear that calamity by 
carrying her pregnancy to term.
  Recently added language is supposed to take the heat off the recent 
uproar over the absence of a rape and incest exception in this bill, 
but the bill would provide an exception for rape or incest only if the 
victim first reported it to the authorities. In the best of all 
possible worlds, every assault would be reported and every rapist 
prosecuted. But we all know that there are many reasons why rapes and 
incest often don't get reported--the toll our criminal justice system 
takes on rape victims: the humiliation, the harassment, the 
psychological trauma.
  Why force women to be victimized twice? The only reason we have been 
given by the supporters of this bill is that women lie about having 
been raped. So the sponsors are telling us not only that women are not 
competent to make this very personal decision for themselves and that 
we here are more competent--we should substitute our judgments for 
theirs--but women are also too dishonest to be believed when they say 
they were raped.
  This bill would use the trauma of the assault to erect another 
unnecessary and cruel barrier to a raped woman. Congress should not 
side with her abuser to force her to carry that abuser's child to term.
  The incest exception applies only if the victim was a minor when the 
incidents occurred. Why? Do my colleagues believe that this was nice, 
consensual sex? That if a young woman is abused by her father from age 
8 and he gets her pregnant at 18, it doesn't count? Or that she asked 
for it and deserves it?

                              {time}  1710

  These restrictions are new. The rape and incest exceptions in the 
previous legislation passed by this House have no such conditions or 
restrictions. Even the Hyde amendment, embodied

[[Page H3734]]

in the Labor-HHS appropriations bill, says:

       The limitations established in the preceding section shall 
     not apply to abortion if the pregnancy is the result of an 
     act of rape or incest.

  No conditions, no restrictions, no ifs, ands, or buts.
  Some Members want to redefine rape and incest to satisfy an extremist 
base that wants to outlaw all abortions, even for victims of rape and 
incest. I hope that we can agree that no woman should ever be forced to 
carry her abuser's child.
  I urge my colleagues to reject this cruel and unconstitutional 
legislation.
  Mrs. BLACKBURN. Madam Chairman, at this time, I yield 2 minutes to 
one of our bright young attorneys, the gentlelady from Alabama (Mrs. 
Roby).
  Mrs. ROBY. Madam Chairman, I thank the gentlelady for yielding.
  I rise to support H.R. 1797, the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection 
Act.
  This bill would at last prohibit dangerous, late-term abortions of 
unborn children at 20 weeks. That's the stage of development which we 
feel pain. And I say ``we,'' Madam Chairman, for a reason. Many 
supporters of this bill are taking to Facebook and Twitter using the 
hashtag #TheyFeelPain to illustrate the brutal reality of late-term 
abortions.
  I applaud their efforts, and I appreciate the many notes of 
encouragement I've received from constituents back home in support of 
this bill. I certainly hope that they will keep those Facebook posts 
coming to get the word out about what we are doing here today.
  I use the phrase ``we feel pain'' because I'm afraid too often we 
speak of this issue like it's someone else we're talking about, some 
other species. Madam Chairman, we are talking about human beings--human 
beings--babies far along enough in development to feel touch, to 
respond to touch. We're talking about us.
  We were all 20 weeks at one time. Every Member in this Chamber was. 
We all reached a particular point of development at which the prayerful 
hope for life becomes precious potential and viability.
  These babies right now are in NICUs all over this country. Having 
been premature, the babies are laying in a protective environment 
trying to build stable breath, reaching to hold the fingers of their 
mommies and daddies. Yet, right now, under Federal law, other babies at 
20 weeks are still at risk of being brutally, mercilessly, and 
painfully killed.
  Madam Chairman, this must end. This must end because we feel pain.
  I reached out just a few hours ago via Facebook, Madam Chairman, to 
my constituents to ask for stories about children that were born at or 
near 20 weeks. I want to share one. A constituent named Terry writes 
that her baby was born at 24 weeks, weighing only 2 pounds, 3 ounces. 
After struggling initially, her child grew strong and healthy. That was 
19 years ago. Her son is now an adult living out west.
  I ask my colleagues to support and vote ``yes'' for H.R. 1797.
  Ms. LOFGREN. Madam Chairman, I would like to yield 1 minute to the 
Democratic leader, Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi, from California.
  Ms. PELOSI. Madam Chairman, do you ever wonder what the American 
people think when they tune into C-SPAN to see what business is being 
attended to on the floor of the House? Do you ever wonder what the 
American people think when they are saying, What is happening to create 
jobs? What is happening to agree to a budget that will promote growth 
and reduce the deficit for our country? What is happening to make 
progress for the American people? Do you ever wonder about that, when 
they tune in and see debate on bills that are going no place? Do they 
think, Well, here it is, just another day in the life of the 
Republican-controlled Congress; another day without a jobs bill, 
another day without a budget agreement, another day ignoring the top 
priorities of the American people by the Republican majority?
  Our constituents have made it clear time and time again we must work 
together to create jobs, to strengthen the middle class, and to grow 
the economy. Yet, once again, Republicans refuse to listen. Instead, we 
are debating legislation that endangers women's health and that 
disrespects the judgment of American women and their doctors on how to 
make judgments about women's health.
  This bill would deny care to women in the most desperate 
circumstances--sad and desperate circumstances. It is yet another 
Republican attempt to endanger women. It is disrespectful to women; it 
is unsafe for families; and it is unconstitutional.
  At the start of Congress, Republicans took great pride--and we joined 
them in that pride--in reading the Constitution, start to finish. It is 
a great day; it is a great document. Then the Republicans proceeded to 
ignore it. One example: this clearly unconstitutional bill.
  Each day, Republicans claim they want to reduce the role of 
government, except when it comes to women's most personal decisions 
about their reproductive health. Leading groups of medical 
professionals and experts across the country believe that this 
legislation is dangerous and wrong.
  That is the message we have seen from doctors and health care 
providers who have pointed out that this legislation would put medical 
professionals in an ``untenable position'' when treating ``women in 
need.''
  That is the same message we've heard from national religious 
organizations, who have called on us to ``offer compassion, support, 
and respect for a woman and her family facing these difficult 
circumstances.''
  I have a copy of a letter from 16 national religious groups that was 
sent to Speaker Boehner and to me, as Democratic leader, which I wish 
to submit for the Record.
  Just another day in the Republican Congress: more extremism, more 
dead-end bills, and less progress on the real challenges facing all 
Americans. The American people want bipartisanship. They want progress. 
They don't want obstruction and delaying tactics.
  Enough is enough. Let's vote ``no'' on this dangerous bill and let's 
get to work together to work on a fair budget that replaces the across-
the-board cuts of the sequester with a plan to create jobs, grow the 
economy, and strengthen the middle class as we reduce the deficit.
  Let's act now to put people to work and strengthen the middle class. 
I say it over and over.
  Let's discard this assault on women's health and work together to 
make real progress for the American people.
  I urge my colleagues to vote ``no.''

                                                    June 18, 2013.

16 National Religious Groups Oppose Ban on Abortion Care after 20 Weeks

     Hon. John Boehner,
     Speaker of the House, House of Representatives, Washington, 
         DC.
     Hon. Nancy Pelosi,
     Minority Leader, House of Representatives, Washington, DC.
       Dear Speaker Boehner and Madam Leader: We, the undersigned 
     national religious groups, urge you to oppose H.R. 1797, the 
     ``District of Columbia Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection 
     Act'' sponsored by Representative Trent Franks (R-AZ), which 
     would create a nationwide ban on access to abortion care 20 
     weeks after fertilization, with only burdensome exceptions 
     for cases of rape or incest. It explicitly bans later 
     abortion care for a woman whose mental health would threaten 
     her life or her health. We stand united across our faith 
     traditions in opposing this extreme legislation.
       Proponents of this bill have cited the Kermit Gosnell case 
     as a reason to push this intrusive policy, but the fact is 
     that the lack of access to safe and affordable abortion care 
     is precisely the circumstance that drove women to an 
     unscrupulous person like Gosnell, as it did to so many women 
     before Roe v. Wade. The existence of his clinic is a ghastly 
     warning sign of what happens when abortion is so restricted 
     and expensive that a woman in need feels that she has nowhere 
     else to turn.
       A family with a wanted pregnancy that goes terribly wrong 
     is confronted with awful decisions that none of us ever want 
     to face. Our religious values call us to offer compassion, 
     support, and respect to a woman and her family facing these 
     difficult circumstances. H.R. 1797 will only make a 
     challenging situation worse. When a woman needs an abortion, 
     it is critically important that she have access to safe and 
     legal care.
       It is telling that Representative Franks, in a press 
     release announcing that he would be expanding the focus of 
     H.R. 1797 from the District of Columbia to a nationwide ban, 
     does not make even a single reference to a woman, her family, 
     or her situation.
       Like all Americans, Rep. Franks is free to have and share 
     his own religious beliefs about issues related to pregnancy 
     and parenting. Liberty is an American value. However, H.R. 
     1797 is a clear attempt to impose one particular religious 
     belief on the whole nation, and thus represents a gross 
     violation of the freedom to which every American is

[[Page H3735]]

     entitled by the Constitution. The proper role of government 
     in the United States is not to impose one set of religious 
     views on everyone, but to protect each person's right and 
     ability to make decisions according to their own beliefs and 
     values.
       We believe--and Americans, including people of faith, 
     overwhelmingly agree--that the decision to end a pregnancy is 
     best left to a woman in consultation with her family, her 
     doctor, and her faith. Our laws should support and safeguard 
     a woman's health--not deny access to care. Please show 
     compassion for women and respect for religious liberty by 
     opposing H.R. 1797.
           In faith,
       Anti-Defamation League, Catholics for Choice, Disciples 
     Justice Action Network, Hadassah, The Women's Zionist 
     Organization of America, Inc., Jewish Council for Public 
     Affairs, Jewish Women International, Methodist Federation for 
     Social Action, Metropolitan Community Churches, Muslims for 
     Progressive Values, National Council of Jewish Women, 
     Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice, Religious 
     Institute, Union of Reform Judaism, Unitarian Universalist 
     Association of Congregations, Unitarian Universalist Women's 
     Federation, United Church of Christ, Justice and Witness 
     Ministries (f).

  Mrs. BLACKBURN. Madam Chairman, I yield myself 15 seconds.
  When we talk about what is dangerous and wrong, let me tell you what 
is dangerous and wrong: condoning the actions of Kermit Gosnell or Doug 
Karpen or what transpired in New Mexico or what we found out from 
Delaware or from Virginia or from West Virginia. The house of horrors 
goes on and on.
  At this point, I would like to yield 3 minutes to a member of our 
House Republican leadership team, the gentlewoman from Missouri (Mrs. 
Wagner).
  Mrs. WAGNER. Madam Chairman, I thank the gentlelady from Tennessee 
for yielding and for advancing this legislation.
  Madam Chairman, I rise today in support of life, in support of life, 
liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
  Life begins at conception. Throughout the years, as science and 
technology have evolved and continue to advance, we are changing hearts 
and minds. We have more and more evidence that life does, indeed, begin 
at conception.
  We know that after 3 weeks, the baby has a heartbeat. After 7 weeks, 
the baby begins kicking in the womb. By week 8, the baby begins to hear 
and fingerprints start to form. After 10 weeks, the baby is able to 
turn his or her head, frown, and even hiccup. By week 11, the baby can 
grasp with his or her hands. And by week 12, the baby can suck his or 
her thumb. And by week 20, not only can the baby recognize his or her 
mother's voice, but that baby can also feel pain.
  While killing an unborn child is unacceptable at any time, it is 
especially abhorrent at the 20-week mark when a child is able to feel 
the pain of an abortion. Madam Chairman, it is not only the pain of the 
child that we must be concerned with, but also the pain of the mother.

                              {time}  1720

  The other side has deemed abortion a ``sacred right.'' They tout that 
they are champions for women, telling women they have the right to do 
with their bodies whatever they want. The problem here is that everyone 
talks about the right to choose, but no one discusses the implications 
of that choice.
  I recently had the opportunity to speak with Joyce Zounis, who had 
multiple abortions between the ages of 15 and 26. She told me that the 
abortionists told her everything would be over very quickly, but they 
didn't tell her about the physical and the psychological implications 
that would stay with her for life. Not once did the abortionists relay 
to her the physical risks that she suffered later. That does not 
include the emotional damage she also suffered--uncontrollable anger, 
depression, seclusion, and the inability to trust anyone.
  Madam Speaker, I am for life at all stages. I am for the life of the 
baby, and I am also for the life of the mother. I will continue to work 
towards the day when abortion is not only illegal but is absolutely 
unthinkable.


                         Parliamentary Inquiry

  Mr. BERA of California. Madam Speaker, I have a parliamentary 
inquiry.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. The gentleman will state his inquiry.
  Mr. BERA of California. Will the Speaker inform us as to when we 
might consider legislation to address the needs of a generation of 
college students whose interest rates are about to reset in a few weeks 
and double--instead of this bill, which is a direct attack on women's 
rights.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. The gentleman has not stated a proper 
parliamentary inquiry.
  Ms. LOFGREN. Madam Speaker, I yield 2\1/2\ minutes to a member of the 
Judiciary Committee, the gentlelady from Texas, Congresswoman Sheila 
Jackson Lee.
  (Ms. JACKSON LEE asked and was given permission to revise and extend 
her remarks.)
  Ms. JACKSON LEE. Madam Speaker, to those who are gathered here today, 
I have already heard my leader indicate partly why we are here, taking 
away from the serious work of this place in trying to provide jobs for 
the thousands and millions of Americans who are unemployed, but I have 
another question.
  I want to know why we are on the floor of the House, debating a 
dangerous and inhumane legislative initiative. I also want to know why 
there are those who would rise presumptuously and arrogantly to suggest 
they know my heart. Why is there someone suggesting in this body that I 
have not experienced pain or do not know pain or do not know the pain 
of my constituents?
  The same question can be asked, How do they know what a mother, whose 
health is in jeopardy, is feeling?
  Why would they be so presumptuous as to suggest that we could not, or 
that we are saying to some woman that you can't do with your body as 
you desire? It is between your God, your doctor and your family.
  How outrageous this legislation is. It is patently unconstitutional. 
Griswold says it's a violation of the right to privacy. Doe v. Bolton, 
which was passed on the same day as Roe v. Wade, specifically said that 
the health of the mother had to be taken into consideration. This 
violates any kind of adherence to the health of the mother.
  For us to refer to the heinous, disgusting actions in Pennsylvania 
suggests that I don't care about it. I am glad that the justice system 
persecuted and prosecuted this villain and sent that doctor to jail, 
but I don't want America's doctors and mothers and people of faith to 
be sent to the jailhouse because we are so presumptuous and arrogant.
  Let's be very clear about a young woman by the name of Vikki Stella, 
a diabetic who discovered months into her pregnancy that the fetus she 
was carrying suffered from several major anomalies and who had no 
chance of survival. They wanted to induce labor or perform a Caesarean 
section, but her physician said she could not survive it, and they had 
to use another procedure. If they had not used a procedure like an 
abortion, she would not be able to have children again.
  Do we want to go back to the time when women were running into back 
alleys?
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. The time of the gentlewoman has expired.
  Madam Speaker, I rise in strong opposition to H.R. 1797, the ``Pain 
Capable Unborn Child Protection Act.'' Last year I opposed this 
irresponsible and reckless legislation when it was brought to the floor 
under a suspension of the rules and fell well short of the two-thirds 
majority needed to pass. I opposed the bill, which arbitrarily bans a 
woman from exercising her constitutionally protect right to choose to 
terminate a pregnancy after 20 weeks, last year for the same reasons I 
do now. This purely partisan and divisive legislation:
  1. Unduly burdens a woman's right to terminate a pregnancy and thus 
puts their lives at risk;
  2. Does not contain exceptions for the health of the mother;
  3. As introduced and considered in the Judiciary Committee, unfairly 
targeted the District of Columbia; and
  4. Infringes upon women's right to privacy, which is guaranteed and 
protected by the U.S. Constitution.
  Madam Speaker, the rule governing debate on this bill also set the 
terms of debate for the Farm Bill that makes drastic reductions in SNAP 
funding and nutrition programs that help the women, children, infants, 
and the poor.
  Coupling these two bills together under one rule sends the uncaring 
message that it is right and good to force a woman to carry an unwanted 
pregnancy to term and then withhold from her and her infant the support 
necessary for them to maintain a nutritious and healthy diet.

[[Page H3736]]

  Madam Speaker, in 2010, Nebraska passed a law banning abortion care 
after 20 weeks. Since then 10 more red states--Alabama, Arizona, 
Arkansas, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Louisiana, North Dakota, and 
Oklahoma--have enacted similar bans. None of these laws has an adequate 
health exception. Only one provides an exception for cases of rape or 
incest.
  H.R. 1797 seeks to take the misguided and mean-spirited policy of 
these states and make it the law of the land. In so doing, the bill 
poses a nationwide threat to the health and wellbeing of American women 
and a direct challenge to the Supreme Court's ruling in Roe v. Wade.
  Madam Speaker, one of the most detestable aspects of this bill is 
that it would curb access to care for women in the most desperate of 
circumstances. It is these women who receive the 1.5 percent of 
abortions that occur after 20 weeks.
  Women like Danielle Deaver, who was 22 weeks pregnant when her water 
broke. Tests showed that Danielle had suffered anhydramnios 
(``OmHydrim-Nee-Oze''), a premature rupture of the membranes before the 
fetus has achieved viability. This condition meant that the fetus 
likely would be born with a shortening of muscle tissue that results in 
the inability to move limbs.
  In addition, Danielle's fetus likely would suffer deformities to the 
face and head, and the lungs were unlikely to develop beyond the 22-
week point. There was less than a 10% chance that, if born, Danielle's 
baby would be able to breathe on its own and only a 2% chance the baby 
would be able to eat on its own. Danielle and her husband decided to 
terminate the pregnancy but could not because of the Nebraska ban. 
Danielle had no recourse but to endure the pain and suffering that 
followed. Eight days later, Danielle gave birth to a daughter, 
Elizabeth, who died 15 minutes later.
  H.R. 1797 hurts women like Vikki Stella, a diabetic, who discovered 
months into her pregnancy that the fetus she was carrying suffered from 
several major anomalies and had no chance of survival. Because of 
Vikki's diabetes, her doctor determined that induced labor and 
Caesarian section were both riskier procedures for Vikki than an 
abortion. Because Vikki was able to terminate the pregnancy, she was 
protected from the immediate and serious medical risks to her health 
and her ability to have children in the future was preserved.
  Madam Speaker, every pregnancy is different. No politician knows, or 
has the right to assume he knows, what is best for a woman and her 
family. These are decisions that properly must be left to women to 
make, in consultation with their partners, doctors, and their God.
  That is why the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, 
the nation's leading medical experts on women's health, strongly 
opposes 20-week bans, citing the threat these laws pose to women's 
health.
  Madam Speaker, I also strongly oppose H.R. 1797 because it lacks the 
necessary exceptions to protect the health and life of the mother. In 
fact, the majority Republicans rejected an amendment offered by our 
colleague, Congressman Nadler, which would have added a ``health of the 
mother'' exception to the bill.
  During the markup of H.R. 1797 in the Judiciary Committee, 
Republicans even rejected an amendment I offered that would have 
provided a limited exception in cases where ``the pregnancy could 
result in severe and long-lasting damage to a woman's health, including 
lung disease, heart disease, or diabetes.''
  Imagine, Madam Speaker, an amendment permitting an exception in the 
case where a woman risked heart or lung disease was rejected by 
Judiciary Republicans as too lenient and compassionate toward women!
  I offered my amendment again to the Rules Committee but again, 
Committee Republicans refused to make it in order.
  Madam Speaker, it is an additional measure of just how incredibly bad 
this bill is that when it was introduced and considered in the 
Judiciary Committee, it did not even include an exception for rape or 
incest!
  Madam Speaker, this may come as news to some in this body, but each 
year approximately 25,000 women in the United States become pregnant as 
a result of rape. And about a third (30%) of these rapes involve women 
under age 18!
  Madam Speaker, last and most important, I oppose H.R. 1797 because it 
is an unconstitutional infringement on the right to privacy, as 
interpreted by the Supreme Court in a long line of cases going back to 
Griswold v. Connecticut in 1965 and Roe v. Wade decided in 1973. In Roe 
v. Wade, the Court held that a state could prohibit a woman from 
exercising her right to terminate a pregnancy in order to protect her 
health prior to viability. While many factors go into determining fetal 
viability, the consensus of the medical community is that viability is 
acknowledged as not occurring prior to 24 weeks gestation.
  By prohibiting nearly all abortions beginning at ``the probable post-
fertilization age'' of 20 weeks, H.R. 1797 violates this clear and long 
standing constitutional rule.
  In striking down Texas's pre-viability abortion prohibitions, the 
Supreme Court stated in Roe v. Wade:
  With respect to the State's important and legitimate interest in 
potential life, the `compelling' point is at viability. This is so 
because the fetus then presumably has the capability of meaningful life 
outside the mother's womb. State regulation protective of fetal life 
after viability thus has both logical and biological justification. If 
the State is interested in protecting fetal life after viability, it 
may go as far as to proscribe abortion during that period, except when 
it is necessary to preserve the life or health of the mother.
  Supreme Court precedents make it clear that neither Congress nor a 
state legislature can declare any one element--``be it weeks of 
gestation or fetal weight or any other single factor--as the 
determinant'' of viability. Colautti v. Franklin, 439 U.S. 379, 388-89 
(1979). Nor can the government restrict a woman's autonomy by 
arbitrarily setting the number of weeks gestation so low as to 
effectively prohibit access to abortion services as is the case with 
the bill before us.
  If this bill ever were to become law, it would not survive a 
constitutional challenge even to its facial validity. A similar 20-week 
provision enacted by the Utah legislature was struck down years ago as 
unconstitutional by the United States Court of Appeals for the 10th 
Circuit because it ``unduly burden[ed] a woman's right to choose to 
abort a nonviable fetus.'' Jane L. v. Bangerter, 102 F.3d 1112, 1118 
(10th Cir. 1996). And just last month, the Ninth Circuit struck down a 
20 week ban on the ground that the U.S. Supreme Court has been 
``unalterably clear'' that ``a woman has a constitutional right to 
choose to terminate her pregnancy before the fetus is viable.'' 
Isaacson v. Horne,_F.3d_, No. 12-16670,2013 WL 2160171, at *1 (9th Cir. 
May 21, 2013).
  Madam Speaker, the constitutionally protected right to privacy 
encompasses the right of women to choose to terminate a pregnancy 
before viability, and even later where continuing to term poses a 
threat to her health and safety. This right of privacy was hard won and 
must be preserved inviolate. For this reason, I offered an amendment 
before the Rules Committee that would ensure that the legislation 
before us is to be interpreted to abridge this right. The Jackson Lee 
Amendment #2 provided:

       Sec. 4. Rule of Construction. Nothing in this Act shall be 
     construed or interpreted to limit the right of privacy 
     guaranteed and protected by the United States Constitution as 
     interpreted by the United States Supreme Court in the cases 
     of Griswold v. Connecticut, 381 U.S. 479 (1965); Eisenstadt 
     v. Baird, 405 U.S. 438 (1972), and Roe v. Wade, 410 U.S. 113 
     (1973).

  Regrettably, the Rules Committee did not make this amendment in 
order. Unregrettably, I strongly oppose H.R. 1797 and urge all members 
to join me in voting against this unwise measure that put the lives and 
health of women at risk.

            [From Planned Parenthood Federation of America]

  Protect Access to Safe and Legal Abortion--Reject the Nationwide 20-
                           Week Abortion Ban

       The misleadingly named ``Pain-Capable Unborn Child 
     Protection Act'', offered by Congressman Trent Franks (AZ), 
     is a dangerous attempt to restrict women's access to safe and 
     legal abortion. This bill would ban all abortions after 20 
     weeks with extremely limited exceptions. H.R. 1797 is clearly 
     unconstitutional, and is a blatant attempt to challenge Roe 
     v. Wade at the expense of the health of our nation's women. 
     Abortion is a deeply personal medical decision that should be 
     left to a woman and her family, with the counsel of her 
     doctor or health care provider, not politicians.
       The Franks 20-week abortion ban is dangerous for women's 
     health.
       Nearly 9 in 10 abortions in the United States occur in the 
     first trimester.
       Many women who have abortions after the first trimester do 
     so because of medical complications or other barriers 
     resulting in delays to accessing an abortion.
       H.R. 1797 would further harm women in need by creating 
     additional obstacles to receiving a safe and legal abortion. 
     Women need support, not additional barriers, to obtaining 
     timely, safe health care.
       The Franks 20-week abortion ban lacks a reasonable 
     exception for victims of rape and incest.
        H.R. 1797 marginalizes the needs of women by only allowing 
     a very narrow exception for life-saving abortions.
        After the backlash against Trent Franks' ignorant comments 
     about pregnancies resulting from rape, the House Majority 
     snuck in an extremely limited exception allowing victims of 
     rape or incest to access abortion at 20 weeks--but only if 
     they can provide proof that they have alerted the police 
     about the crime.

[[Page H3737]]

       The Franks 20-week abortion ban is unconstitutional, and is 
     a clear attempt to challenge Roe v. Wade.
       20-week abortion bans are unconstitutional as they are in 
     clear violation of the right to an abortion pre-viability, 
     Supreme Court precedent set in Roe v. Wade and affirmed in 
     Planned Parenthood v. Casey.
       Proponents of these laws are outspoken in their goal to 
     challenge the Roe v. Wade decision via 20-week abortion ban 
     legislation.
       Americans overwhelmingly support the Roe v. Wade Supreme 
     Court decision. A January 2013 Wall Street Journal/NBC poll 
     found that 70 percent of Americans support Roe v. Wade.
       Leading medical groups agree that doctors, in consultation 
     with women and their families, should make medical decisions. 
     Not politicians.
        Leading medical groups oppose political attempts to 
     interfere with the doctor-patient relationship.
        The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists 
     opposes the 20-week abortion ban, calling it part of 
     legislative proposals ``that are not based on sound science 
     (and that) attempt to prescribe how physicians should care 
     for their patients.''
        The American Medical Association ``strongly condemn(s) any 
     interference by the government or other third parties that 
     causes a physician to compromise his or her medical judgment 
     as to what information or treatment is in the best interest 
     of the patient.''
       Women don't turn to politicians for advice about 
     mammograms, prenatal care, or cancer treatments. Politicians 
     should not be involved in a woman's personal medical 
     decisions about her pregnancy.
       The Franks 20-week abortion ban is unconstitutional 
     legislation that threatens the health of women in an effort 
     to challenge longstanding, Supreme Court precedence regarding 
     access to safe and legal abortion. This one-size-fits-all ban 
     leaves women in potentially vulnerable and dangerous 
     positions, and does nothing to protect women's health. 
     Congress must reject these attempts to limit women's access 
     to safe and legal health care.
                                  ____

                                                     May 23, 2013.

16 National Religious Groups Oppose Ban on Abortion Care After 20 Weeks

       Dear Representative: We, the undersigned national religious 
     groups, urge you to oppose H.R. 1797, the ``District of 
     Columbia Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act'' sponsored 
     by Representative Trent Franks (R-AZ), which would create a 
     nationwide ban on access to abortion care 20 weeks after 
     fertilization, with no exceptions in cases of rape, incest or 
     fetal anomalies. It explicitly bans later abortion care for a 
     woman whose mental health would threaten her life or her 
     health. We stand united across our faith traditions in 
     opposing this extreme legislation.
       Proponents of this bill have cited the Kermit Gosnell case 
     as a reason to push this intrusive policy, but the fact is 
     that the lack of access to safe and affordable abortion care 
     is precisely the circumstance that drove women to an 
     unscrupulous person like Gosnell, as it did to so many women 
     before Roe v. Wade. The existence of his clinic is a ghastly 
     warning sign of what happens when abortion is so restricted 
     and expensive that a woman in need feels that she has nowhere 
     else to turn.
       A family with a wanted pregnancy that goes terribly wrong 
     is confronted with awful decisions that none of us ever want 
     to face. Our religious values call us to offer compassion, 
     support, and respect to a woman and her family facing these 
     difficult circumstances. H.R. 1797 will only make a 
     challenging situation worse. When a woman needs an abortion, 
     it is critically important that she have access to safe and 
     legal care.
       It is telling that Representative Franks, in a press 
     release announcing that he would be expanding the focus of 
     H41797 from the District of Columbia to a nationwide ban, 
     does not make even a single reference to a woman, her family, 
     or her situation.
       Like all Americans, Rep. Franks is free to have and share 
     his own religious beliefs about issues related to pregnancy 
     and parenting. Liberty is an American value. However, H.R. 
     1797 is a clear attempt to impose one particular religious 
     belief on the whole nation, and thus represents a gross 
     violation of the freedom to which every American is entitled 
     by the Constitution. The proper role of government in the 
     United States is not to impose one set of religious views on 
     everyone, but to protect each person's right and ability to 
     make decisions according to their own beliefs and values.
       We believe--and Americans, including people of faith, 
     overwhelmingly agree--that the decision to end a pregnancy is 
     best left to a woman in consultation with her family, her 
     doctor, and her faith. Our laws should support and safeguard 
     a woman's health--not deny access to care. Please show 
     compassion for women and respect for religious liberty by 
     opposing H.R. 1797.
           In faith,
       Anti-Defamation League; Catholics for Choice; Disciples 
     Justice Action Network; Hadassah, The Women's Zionist 
     Organization of America, Inc.; Jewish Council for Public 
     Affairs; Methodist Federation for Social Action; Metropolitan 
     Community Churches; Muslims for Progressive Values; National 
     Council of Jewish Women; Religious Coalition for Reproductive 
     Choice; Religious Institute; Union of Reform Judaism; 
     Unitarian Universalist Association of Congregations; 
     Unitarian Universalist Women's Federation; United Church of 
     Christ; Justice and Witness Ministries.

  Mrs. BLACKBURN. Madam Speaker, at this time, I yield 3 minutes to the 
gentlelady from Missouri (Mrs. Hartzler).
  Mrs. HARTZLER. We do a lot of things here in Washington and discuss 
many types of legislation, and sometimes the impact of what we do gets 
lost in the debate. Today, I want to remind my colleagues that this 
bill impacts people and why it's important.
  There is an injustice occurring in our society.
  One unborn baby who is 6 months along develops a medical condition. 
The doctor gives anesthesia in the womb to that baby because it can 
feel pain, and an operation is conducted to correct the problem so the 
baby can be brought to full term. Another unborn baby who is 6 months 
along, down the street at a clinic, does not receive anesthesia, and is 
ripped apart limb by limb by an abortionist, who crushes the skull to 
complete the abortion.
  This is wrong.
  I rise today in support of H.R. 1797, the Pain-Capable Unborn Child 
Protection Act, which would prohibit an abortion of an unborn child who 
has surpassed 20 weeks on the basis that children at this stage of 
development can feel pain. In light of the recent trial of Kermit 
Gosnell, we have seen firsthand the very gruesome nature of what is 
currently taking place in America's abortion industry--the reality that 
abortion involves not a choice but the taking of a human life. Late-
term abortions are agonizingly painful, and they are happening all 
around the Nation.
  A leading expert in fetal pain has said ``the human fetus possesses 
the ability to experience pain from 20 weeks of gestation . . .'' and 
that the pain felt by a fetus may be more intense than that perceived 
by full-term or older children. This pain is inflicted through a 
procedure known as D&E, in which the doctor literally tears apart the 
little body of the child after removing him from the womb and finally 
crushes the child's skull.
  Science and the American public are united on this issue. This 
gruesome practice has no place in our society. In fact, a recent poll 
found 63 percent of women believe abortion should not be permitted 
where substantial medical evidence says that the unborn child can feel 
pain. There is also a risk to the mother.
  Drawing a line at 20 weeks is not arbitrary. The child suffers great 
pain, and the mother is placed drastically in danger. A woman seeking 
an abortion at 20 weeks is 35 times more likely to die from abortion 
than she was in the first trimester. At 21 weeks or more, the chance of 
death is 91 times higher. Jennifer Morbelli was the recent victim of 
such a dangerous abortion procedure, at 33 weeks, in Maryland. This 
abortion was done in a residential condominium complex in Baltimore 
last February--a tragic end to a young mother and an agonizing death 
for her child.
  As a society, it is time to speak out for those who cannot speak for 
themselves and to stop this heinous practice.


                         Parliamentary Inquiry

  Ms. BROWNLEY of California. Madam Speaker, I have a parliamentary 
inquiry.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. The gentlewoman will state her inquiry.
  Ms. BROWNLEY of California. When will the House consider legislation 
to address the veterans' --
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. The gentlewoman has not stated a proper 
parliamentary inquiry.
  Ms. LOFGREN. Madam Speaker, I yield 2 minutes to a much-valued member 
of the Judiciary Committee, the gentlelady from California, 
Congresswoman Judy Chu.
  Ms. CHU. Imagine a world in which the Federal Government actually 
prevents women from receiving the medical procedures that would save 
their lives. Innocent, law-abiding Americans--young and old--would live 
or die by government decree.
  If you think this is some kind of Orwellian fantasy, think again, and 
take a good look at the abortion bill being pushed by Republicans 
today. With only a narrow exception to protect life but not the woman's 
health, it could

[[Page H3738]]

very well be a death sentence to countless women in the most desperate 
of circumstances.

                              {time}  1730

  This bill is a blatant attack on a woman's right to choose, and the 
people who will pay the most will be those who are most in need of 
help.
  I urge my colleagues to vote ``no'' on this nationwide 20-week 
abortion-ban bill, and I call on the Republican Party to stop pushing 
bills that endanger American women.
  Mrs. BLACKBURN. Madam Speaker, at this time I yield 1 minute to the 
gentleman from Louisiana (Mr. Scalise), who chairs the Republican Study 
Committee.
  Mr. SCALISE. I thank the gentlewoman from Tennessee for yielding.
  Madam Speaker, I rise proudly in support of life and in strong 
support of H.R. 1797, the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act.
  Scientific studies have proven that babies can feel pain as early as 
20 weeks after conception, and passage of this bill is a major step 
forward in the defense of life.
  The Gosnell murder trial refocused Americans on the horrors of late-
term abortion, and the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act sends a 
loud message that our great Nation stands up in defense of life.
  I'm proud that Americans United for Life ranked Louisiana as the 
number one pro-life State in the Nation. I have an example of that. If 
a woman who is pregnant is murdered in Louisiana, not only is the 
murderer charged with the murder of the mother, but also for the murder 
of the unborn child. I think it's a proud day that we're here standing 
up in defense of those babies after 20 weeks saying this country will 
not allow those babies' lives to be terminated.
  I proudly support this legislation, and I urge my colleagues to 
support it, as well.
  Ms. LOFGREN. Madam Speaker, may I inquire as to how much time 
remains.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. The gentlewoman from California has 14\1/4\ 
minutes remaining, and the gentlewoman from Tennessee has 9 minutes 
remaining.
  Ms. LOFGREN. Madam Speaker, I yield 2 minutes to another member of 
the Judiciary Committee, Mr. Deutch of Florida.
  Mr. DEUTCH. I thank my friend from California.
  Madam Speaker, today I want to give voice to real women and girls who 
sought abortions after 20 weeks.
  The sad truth is that for disenfranchised women, it often takes more 
than 20 weeks to overcome the roadblocks encountered on the path to 
what is a constitutionally protected procedure. They may struggle to 
pay for the procedure, risk losing their jobs if they request time off 
or lack full information about their bodies, having never received sex 
education or seen a gynecologist.
  Each woman facing these decisions is unique. Their voices have gone 
unheard in this Chamber, but they are Americans who deserve laws that 
protect them. So before this vote, I wanted to share their stories.
  Sandra and her husband had no car, no Internet, and no health care. 
It took them weeks to find an abortion provider. They had to save up 
for the procedure for time off of work, for child care for their kids, 
for the 80-mile taxi ride from Clewiston, Florida, to West Palm Beach. 
By that time, the facility they found could not help her. They had to 
start over and save up even more, take even more time off to see a Fort 
Lauderdale doctor who could help them.
  At 17, Helga was in a witness protection program. She was raped as a 
child and later bore a daughter who was later taken in by protective 
services. After leaving drug treatment in Florida, Helga was 20 weeks 
pregnant, but she wanted a chance to put that path behind her. It was 
only the compassion and generosity of her abortion provider, her 
doctor, who gave her that chance. Today she's taking care of herself 
and reconnecting with her daughter.
  At 13, Michelle often had irregular periods. Yet when she skipped 
two, thought she had one and skipped another, she got scared and told 
her mom. She didn't know she was pregnant. Her disabled mother was 
barely able to feed Michelle and her four siblings as it was. So 
Michelle and her mother agreed that Michelle needed to have an 
abortion. But this whole process took time. Finally at 22 weeks, 
Michelle and her mom secured an abortion with a provider, a doctor who 
could assume the costs.
  I ask my colleagues to please answer these women with compassion and 
vote down this bill.
  Mrs. BLACKBURN. Madam Speaker, at this time, I yield 2 minutes to the 
gentlewoman from South Dakota (Mrs. Noem).
  Mrs. NOEM. Madam Speaker, a few moments ago we heard the minority 
leader here on the floor say that we needed to be about doing serious 
work, that we needed to deal with bills that dealt with jobs and the 
economy that the American people cared about.
  Well, Americans support ending late-term abortions. Just look at the 
graphic that we have up here that says 64 percent of Americans believe 
abortion should not be permitted in the second 3 months of pregnancy; 
80 percent of Americans believe abortion should not be permitted in the 
last 3 months of pregnancy.
  Americans recognize that H.R. 1797, the Pain-Capable Unborn Child 
Protection Act, needs to be passed, and it needs to be done because it 
is the right thing to do. I've always been pro-life. I believe as a 
lawmaker I have a duty to protect those that are the most vulnerable.
  Recently, we've seen atrocities committed in this country against 
unborn babies, babies that were born alive, atrocities against these 
babies and their mothers. The details of that trial only highlight the 
need for us to protect women and to protect these babies from people 
like Gosnell and prevent crimes like this from ever happening again.
  This bill stops abortions after the 20th week of pregnancy, right 
after the 6th month. Scientific evidence shows that babies can feel 
pain at this point of the pregnancy. We're talking about babies that if 
they were born and simply given a chance, that they could survive 
outside of the womb. They just need a chance.
  The topic of abortion is very personal for many around the country. 
It stirs emotions on both sides. If we disagree on this issue, I hope 
we can do it respectfully. Unfortunately, I don't find a lot of the 
rhetoric that I've heard today very respectful. They've said there's a 
war on women. Madam Speaker, I am not waging a war on anyone. I'm not 
waging a war on my two daughters or any other woman in this country.
  Regardless of your personal belief, I would hope that stopping 
atrocities against little babies is something that we can all agree to 
put an end to. This legislation would do exactly that.
  I encourage my colleagues to support its passage.


                         Parliamentary Inquiry

  Mr. ISRAEL. I have a parliamentary inquiry.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. The gentleman will state his inquiry.
  Mr. ISRAEL. Madam Speaker, under House practice and procedure, is it 
not customary for someone on the committee of jurisdiction to manage 
time on the floor, or is it because the Republicans have no women on 
the House Judiciary Committee that the gentlewoman from Tennessee 
manages the time on the floor?
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. The gentleman from New York has not stated a 
proper parliamentary inquiry and is instead engaging in debate. The 
gentleman has not been recognized for debate.
  The gentlewoman from California is recognized.
  Ms. LOFGREN. Madam Speaker, I am pleased to yield 1\1/2\ minutes to a 
member of the Judiciary Committee from New York, an excellent lawyer 
and a new Member of the House, Representative Hakeem Jeffries.
  Mr. JEFFRIES. This bill is a violent assault on reproductive rights 
here in America and an unnecessary intrusion into the doctor-patient 
relationship. It is a continuation of the Republican war against women 
and an unconstitutional effort to repeal a 40-year Supreme Court 
decision. It is dead on arrival in the Senate. The White House and the 
President will veto it. A majority of the Supreme Court will declare it 
unconstitutional.
  So why are we here wasting the time and the money of the American 
people

[[Page H3739]]

on a futile and extreme legislative joyride?
  This is not Barry Goldwater conservatism. This is not even Ronald 
Reagan conservatism. This is conservatism gone wild. We can only hope 
for the good of the country that our friends on the other side of the 
aisle can get the extremism out of their system today so that we can 
return to the business of the American people tomorrow.
  I urge a ``no'' vote.
  Mrs. BLACKBURN. Madam Speaker, at this time, I yield 1 minute to the 
gentleman from Nebraska (Mr. Fortenberry).
  Mr. FORTENBERRY. Madam Speaker, there is something especially 
disturbing about the cruel violence that accompanies the termination of 
unborn children who, as evidence shows, could survive if they were just 
given the chance.
  This debate is not some waste of time. This is not some exercise in 
extremism. The fact that we are having this debate at all demonstrates 
that our society is actually failing women, and our culture is very 
deeply conflicted. There is something very dark about the topic of late 
abortion.

                              {time}  1740

  It is uncomfortable to enter into this conversation, but we must.
  During the past several decades, the marvels of science, Madam 
Speaker, have opened up a window to show us life in the womb, which the 
prophets of old, by the way, tell us is sacred. The images of children 
developing week by week, month by month, speak to us more eloquently 
than any words can.
  Madam Speaker, there are some lines that we should all agree should 
be drawn. I think we are capable--I hope we are capable--of agreeing 
that a child in the womb deserves that protection.
  Ms. LOFGREN. Madam Speaker, I am honored to yield 2 minutes to the 
gentlewoman from the District of Columbia (Ms. Norton).
  Ms. NORTON. I thank the gentlewoman from California for yielding to 
me.
  Anti-choice groups tried and failed to use D.C. to nullify Roe v. 
Wade just last year. They are now using a single criminal case in 
Philadelphia to go after the reproductive health of all the Nation's 
women. We will defeat this bill, too, with its bogus science, man-made 
myths about rape in a bill reported to the floor by an all-male 
majority of the Judiciary Committee. They are already losing ground; 
witness the changes forced on them in the language of the bill and the 
stripping of the rightful manager of the bill.
  This bill is part of a parade of 20-week abortion bills moving 
through conservative States. None will succeed. They will not succeed 
not only because they are clearly unconstitutional, but because women 
won't have it. This bill goes down the same road that helped women 
elect Barack Obama as President of the United States. In the end, 
whatever happens here today, women will win.
  Mrs. BLACKBURN. Madam Speaker, at this time, I yield 2 minutes to the 
chairman of the Republican Women's Policy Committee, the gentlewoman 
from North Carolina (Mrs. Ellmers).
  Mrs. ELLMERS. Madam Speaker, I thank my esteemed colleague for 
handling the time here on the floor in this very important issue.
  Madam Speaker, I rise today in support of H.R. 1797, an important 
bill that will protect women and unborn children. This legislation is 
supported by reliable scientific research that shows that an unborn 
child at 20 weeks' gestation can feel pain. Coupled with the now-known 
dangerous acts of an abortionist like Kermit Gosnell, it is clear that 
Congress must act.
  We can all agree that a woman facing an unexpected pregnancy can be 
in a crisis situation, not knowing what she should do or what choices 
she can make. That is why it is vital to put into place protections for 
women and ensure that people like Kermit Gosnell can never harm again.
  We have a duty to protect American women and the unborn children of 
this country from harm. I urge my colleagues to vote for this important 
bill and support H.R. 1797.
  Ms. LOFGREN. Madam Speaker, I am honored to yield 2 minutes to the 
gentlewoman from Colorado (Ms. DeGette), a leader for women's health.
  Ms. DeGETTE. Madam Speaker, at a time when Americans want their 
elected officials to focus on jobs and building our economy, here we 
are again focusing our efforts on limiting a woman's ability to make 
her own health care decisions.
  As I have heard time and time again from women across this Nation, 
women don't want politicians imposing their extreme beliefs on them 
when they're making tough decisions. I keep hearing about polls from my 
colleagues on the other side of the aisle. Well, here's a poll. We just 
heard about it today. Congress' popularity is at an all-time low of 10 
percent, and bills like this are exactly why.
  Last session we wasted a lot of the American people's time debating 
and voting on legislation designed solely to take a woman's health care 
decision out of her hands and that of her doctor and instead to allow 
politicians to step in and substitute their judgment. Now, this time it 
did take the majority 6 months of the new session, but here we go 
again, right back down that same rabbit hole.
  Today, we're voting on another extreme policy that's dangerous to 
women's health, interferes with the doctor-patient relationship, and is 
also patently unconstitutional. As introduced, the bill provided no 
exceptions for victims of rape and incest; but last week, after some of 
us pointed that out, the bill's sponsors maneuvered to add an attempted 
exception for rape and incest victims. But even this latest attempt is 
deeply offensive.
  The bill now requires a woman to prove that she had reported the rape 
to authorities in order to have access to a legal medical procedure. 
Let me say that again: a woman would now have to prove she actually 
reported the rape to obtain a necessary medical procedure, making her 
into a two-time victim.
  This kind of logic demonstrates a callous, almost willful ignorance 
towards the health needs of women across the Nation, and it shows how 
the proponents have no respect for women's ability to make their own 
decisions.
  Vote ``no'' on this ill-conceived bill.
  Mrs. BLACKBURN. Madam Speaker, I would like to ask how much time is 
remaining on each side?
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. The gentlewoman from Tennessee has 5 minutes 
remaining, and the gentlewoman from California has 7 minutes remaining.
  Mrs. BLACKBURN. At this time, I reserve the balance of my time.
  Ms. LOFGREN. Madam Speaker, I am delighted to yield 2 minutes to the 
gentlewoman from California (Mrs. Capps), a nurse and valued member of 
our delegation.
  Mrs. CAPPS. Madam Speaker, I thank my colleague from California for 
her leadership in opposing this unconstitutional and cruel bill. I rise 
in strong opposition to it.
  This legislation ignores the very real medical challenges that are 
faced by so many women, erecting barriers to women who are trying 
desperately to access medical care, who are making some of the most 
personal and difficult choices and decisions. This is a coldhearted 
political maneuver that is being played out upon this House floor 
today.
  Women need the confidence to be able to make these difficult 
decisions in consult with their doctors, with their families, with 
their spiritual advisors. Politicians have no place in that equation.
  If we really wanted to protect life, let's support efforts to reduce 
unintended pregnancies, improve maternal health, improve funding for 
WIC, for early child care, for support for women and families who are 
raising children in the most difficult circumstances. Let us trust 
women to make decisions that are right for them. And let us show a 
little compassion instead of offering condescending lectures, as the 
other side did last month to a very courageous witness who shared her 
life story.
  It is long past time that this Congress learn to trust women to make 
their own decisions.
  Mrs. BLACKBURN. At this time, I would continue to reserve the balance 
of my time.
  Ms. LOFGREN. Madam Speaker, I am pleased to yield 2 minutes to the 
gentleman from Massachusetts (Mr. Keating), a former prosecutor and 
valued Member of our Congress.

[[Page H3740]]

  Mr. KEATING. Madam Speaker, for 12 years, I've worked with victims of 
rape and incest. And for those of you who think you're carving out an 
exception for rape and incest, you're not.

                              {time}  1750

  If you were truly carving out an exception, you wouldn't be making it 
contingent on things that silence victims, things they have no control 
over, like being traumatized, like being threatened with your life if 
you talked, like not knowing the law because you're a minor and a 
victim of statutory rape. These are reasons why more than half the 
rapes are never reported.
  As a district attorney, I've had cases where the victims didn't even 
report; yet we were able to convict the perpetrators with other 
evidence. Reporting wasn't even necessary to convict criminals; but in 
this bill, it's necessary for a crime victim to exercise their 
constitutional right to privacy.
  Fundamentally, those who support the language in this bill don't 
understand that rape and incest are crimes. These are crimes of 
violence, crimes that you bring penalties to the perpetrator. This bill 
brings penalties to the victim.
  Mrs. BLACKBURN. Madam Speaker, I continue to reserve the balance of 
my time.
  Ms. LOFGREN. I wonder if the gentlelady has additional speakers, 
because I would reserve. We have no additional speakers at this time, 
and if she has additional speakers, she can call them, then we will 
both wrap up.
  Mrs. BLACKBURN. Madam Speaker, we have no additional speakers. If you 
want to complete, then I will close.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. The gentlelady from California has 4 minutes 
remaining, and the gentlelady from Tennessee has 5 minutes remaining.
  Ms. LOFGREN. Madam Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may 
consume.
  I think this is, in many ways, a very sad day for this House. As we 
know, last week there was an uproar in the country relative to a 
statement that few women become pregnant from rape. That, of course, is 
not correct. There's no science to support that.
  And of course, this week, we have a bill that's been altered to add a 
very limited exception for rape and incest that would be available only 
if the victim has reported the crime to the authorities.
  And of course, as our last speaker has indicated, this actually makes 
the situation for the victim of violence, a victim of rape more onerous 
than for the perpetrators of the violence, something that I think is 
really quite wrong.
  The bill attacks the rights of women, guaranteed by our Constitution, 
to seek a safe, legal procedure when they need it.
  I have two children. I was thrilled when I became pregnant. Most 
women are thrilled and look forward to a safe childbirth. But for some, 
pregnancy can be dangerous, and the restrictions that are imposed in 
this bill that do not have adequate health exceptions can endanger 
these women.
  At the subcommittee, we heard from a witness, a professor at George 
Washington University, Ms. Christy Zink, about her story. She 
courageously told her story of seeking abortion care after her much-
wanted pregnancy was diagnosed with severe fetal anomalies at the 21st 
week; in fact, an anomaly that would mean that the much-wanted child 
would not survive and that, in fact, her health could be compromised 
had she proceeded.
  Under this bill, she would not have the opportunity to preserve her 
own health. She would be required to carry a nonviable fetus to term, 
and I just think that's wrong. I don't think that's something that the 
country is asking the Congress to do.
  The idea that the exception for incest only applies to those under 18 
is another mystery. If a girl is molested and raped by her father at 
age 18, is she less worthy of the protection of her health and the 
right to get abortion care than her sister at age 17? I think not. It 
simply makes no sense at all for that provision.
  I'd like to comment also briefly on the repeated discussion of Dr. 
Kermit Gosnell. He is a monster. There's no one that I have heard in 
this Congress or in this country who defends what Dr. Gosnell did. In 
fact, he's in prison, serving a double life sentence for murder.
  What he did was illegal, in addition to being abhorrent in every way. 
We don't need to change the law to put someone like Dr. Gosnell behind 
bars. In fact, he's behind bars right now.
  I think that the use of this case as a rationale for denying American 
women health care that they may need is terribly wrong. I would urge a 
``no'' vote on the bill.
  I yield back the balance of my time.
  Mrs. BLACKBURN. Madam Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may 
consume.
  This has been an interesting debate, and I have to tell you, we have 
heard every descriptive adjective that there can possibly be coming 
from the negative of why our colleagues on the other side of the aisle 
think that this debate is inappropriate.
  I do think that some of the most interesting has been the 
parliamentary inquiries to ask about what we're doing about jobs and 
student loans and veterans. And I have to tell you all, I agree. This 
Obama economy has been brutal to especially women and the female 
workforce; and, indeed, we would love to see our colleagues in the 
Senate and the administration work with us on those issues.
  But let me refocus us on why we are here. We are here because it is 
imperative that we take an action, and that we address these Gosnell-
like abortions. We have stood on the floor today, and we have talked 
about what transpired with the conviction of Kermit Gosnell in 
Philadelphia, 21 felony counts, performing illegal abortions beyond the 
24-week limit, manslaughter for the death of a woman seeking an 
abortion at his clinic, three counts of killing babies born alive, and 
dozens of other heinous crimes.
  We have heard about how the necks are snipped, the heads are 
punctured. We even heard the statement from his attorney who said 16 to 
17 weeks should be the limit.
  We are going at 20 weeks. We have heard of other atrocities, whether 
they are the Carpin case in Texas, the case in New Mexico. Nurses, pro-
choice nurses out in Delaware recently quit their jobs at a big 
abortion business to save their medical licenses. They said the clinic 
was, I'm quoting them, ``ridiculously unsafe, where meat-market style, 
assembly-line abortions were happening.''
  Another abortionist, Leroy Carhart, recently stated he's performed 
more than 20,000 abortions on babies after 24 weeks gestation, and he's 
perfectly happy to do elective abortions on babies at 7 months 
gestation.
  We know that at 8 weeks babies feel pain. When they have these 
prenatal surgeries, we know that they're given anesthesia. We know they 
respond to pain, and we know these late-term abortions are incredibly, 
incredibly painful.
  So that is why we stand today. We want parity for these babies, for 
these unborn children. We can see them. We have seen some of the 
ultrasounds. And you know what is so amazing? When you see these 
ultrasounds, and when people are waiting for the arrival of these 
precious children, they go ahead, they name them. They're expecting 
them. They are waiting for them. And they know that these children feel 
pain when they are harmed.

                              {time}  1800

  Science tells us so. The American public is with us on this. Sixty-
four percent of all women think abortions should be eliminated when 
these unborn babies feel pain. Out of all Americans, 60 percent--60 
percent--this is a Gallup/USA Today poll. Sixty percent says second-
trimester abortions should be eliminated. Eighty percent say third-
trimester abortions should be eliminated.
  So for those reasons, that is why we stand here today. To support 
these women and these unborn children, to end these atrocities, to 
stand together, to make certain that that first guarantee, the 
guarantee to life--the guarantee to life--so that you can pursue 
liberty and enter into the pursuit of happiness, that is why we stand 
here today.
  Madam Speaker, I've been honored to work with my colleagues. I know 
some don't like the fact that a former Judiciary Committee member has 
come to the floor to handle this bill. I've been so honored to be 
joined by so many

[[Page H3741]]

pro-life women as we have discussed this issue, as we have come 
together to stand for this.
  I yield back the balance of my time.
  Mr. PASCRELL. Madam Speaker, I rise today in opposition to H.R. 1797, 
the Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Act.
  As Members of Congress, we should not reach into the private lives of 
our constituents with decisions that are this personal. We are not 
qualified to make complex medical decisions, and the government is 
certainly not in the position to interfere in the doctor-patient 
relationship. But that is exactly what this bill would do by increasing 
medical liability for doctors, and criminalizing procedures that are 
safe and legal.
  A woman should be able to make decisions about her health in 
consultation with her family, her individual faith and health 
professionals. Restricting access to safe abortions is clearly not the 
answer. With the continued economic challenges facing this country, we 
should be focused on getting Americans back to work, not preventing 
women from making choices that are best for their families and their 
health.
  Throughout my years in Congress, I have been against any government 
funding of abortion, and I believe that some guidelines are important 
and reasonable. However, this bill clearly goes over the line and 
serves not to protect the health of women and children, but rather as a 
direct challenge to the Supreme Court decision in Roe v Wade.
  I strongly urge my colleagues to vote no on this bill.
  Mr. CICILLINE. Madam Speaker, today's vote on H.R. 1797 marks the 
10th time since 2011 that House Republicans have held a vote to 
restrict women's health care options, and as a result endanger the 
health and well-being of women all across this country.
  In the last six months, the House has failed to enact a single jobs 
bill into law. This is unconscionable--especially at a time that 
families across our country are still struggling just to make ends 
meet, and so many Americans are still out of work.
   And yet, here we stand, not discussing ways that Republicans and 
Democrats can work together to get our economy moving again, but 
instead we're relitigating the culture wars and actually voting on a 
bill that would allow Washington politicians to make medical decisions 
that should be made between women and their doctors.
  As the Obama Administration has said, this bill is nothing short of 
an ``assault on a woman's right to choose.''
  H.R. 1797 subverts Roe v. Wade and uses pseudoscience to tell women 
that they're not allowed to make their own health care decisions after 
the 20th week of a pregnancy.
  Madam Speaker, rather than using political wedge issues to score 
points with their electoral base, Republicans should be working with 
Democrats to put men and women across our country back to work and 
start growing the economy again.
  In the strongest terms possible, I urge my colleagues to oppose this 
extreme proposal.
  Mr. FARR. Madam Speaker, there are so many reasons why my colleagues 
should reject H.R. 1797, the misnamed Pain-Capable Unborn Child 
Protection Act.
   I am sure my Democratic colleagues that oppose the bill will be able 
to speak to many of those reasons, but I want to focus on an issue that 
will shock the American people, once they find out what this bill 
really does.
   The Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act will force, let me 
repeat that, force a woman to carry an unviable fetus to full term and 
delivery. Even when doctors agree that it is impossible for the fetus 
to survive outside the womb, if it is over 20 weeks, if H.R. 1797 
passes, it will have to be carried to full term and delivered. By 
making the woman carry this fetus to full term and deliver it even 
though it will never survive, we are adding to the unimaginable pain of 
having a child that will not survive outside the womb. Instead of being 
allowed to grieve for months, this legislation would only prolong the 
inevitable heartbreak she will experience. The Republican majority may 
be completely fine with subjecting women to repeated and unnecessary 
heartbreak, but I am not!
   Not to mention the unnecessary pain and physical discomfort 
throughout the pregnancy for the woman. She is forced to go through all 
the trials of a normal pregnancy and the tremendous pain of childbirth, 
just so the Republican Majority can once again intrude into the lives 
of women and impose their will on them. This should be a private, 
personal decision between the woman and her doctor.
   Madam Speaker, H.R. 1797 is simply outrageous. No one should be able 
to force a woman to carry an unviable fetus to term and then deliver it 
against her will. This bill has so many provisions that are just a 
continuation of the Republicans War on Women. And they claim there is 
no war on women. How can they say that when they try to pass bills like 
this?
  Ms. BORDALLO. Madam Speaker, I rise today in support of H.R. 1797, 
the Pain-Capable Child Protection Act. This bill takes important steps 
to protecting the most vulnerable in our society--unborn children--by 
placing a federal ban on abortions after 20 weeks from conception. This 
ban would be an important first step in restoring respect for life in 
our nation.
   I believe that H.R. 1797 strikes the right balance as it allows for 
exceptions in cases of child-incest, rape, or when a mother's life is 
in danger, but it also requires that mothers report any instances of 
abuse to law enforcement prior to seeking an abortion. While many would 
argue that this provision is too narrowly written, I believe that it is 
better than the present unrestricted and unaccountable legal system 
that makes it far too easy to get an abortion.
   I support H.R. 1797 and its intent in ensuring that the most 
vulnerable in our society are protected and given the opportunity for 
life. I encourage my colleagues to vote ``yes'' on this bill.
  Mr. HENSARLING. Madam Speaker, as humans and as a people, we have no 
greater responsibility than to care for the vulnerable--to be a voice 
for those who cannot speak for themselves and a defender of those who 
cannot fight for themselves.
   I, like all Americans, was disgusted to learn of the horrific and 
illegal abortion procedures performed by Kermit Gosnell. Gosnell preyed 
upon women who trusted him in their most vulnerable moments and 
systematically murdered children at their most helpless stage. We must 
protect women from these atrocious and unsafe abortions, and we must 
save children from these excruciating deaths.
   In the grand jury report on the Gosnell trial, a neonatal expert 
reported that the cutting of a baby's spinal cord during a late-term 
abortion causes them, `a tremendous amount of pain.' Furthermore, 
according to a report by fetal pain expert Dr. Kanwaljeet S. Anand, 
`the human fetus possesses the ability to experience pain from 20 weeks 
of gestation, if not earlier, and the pain perceived by a fetus is 
possibly more intense than that perceived by term newborns or older 
children.'
   By banning abortion after 20 weeks, today's bill will save the lives 
of innocent children from enduring the excruciatingly painful death of 
a late abortion.
  Mr. SHIMKUS. Madam Speaker, I rise today in support of the Pain-
Capable Unborn Child Protection Act.
   As modern science advances, we are gaining a better understanding of 
childhood development from conception to birth. While decades ago 
doctors believed a pre-natal child's central nervous system was too 
under-developed to experience pain, scientists are now finding that by 
20 weeks after conception babies have an ``increase in stress hormones 
in response to painful experiences.'' In essence, by month 5, children 
can experience pain.
   Many of the abortions conducted by Dr. Gosnell were near and even 
after the 20th week where the child could feel the pain of what was 
being done. I stand by the millions of Americans who are deeply shocked 
and emotionally horrified by the actions of Dr. Kermit Gosnell--the 
crimes for which he was convicted are too many to mention and too 
disturbing to describe.
   While our hearts go out to Dr. Gosnell's victims, we must also act 
to prevent future Gosnell's from having the ease and opportunity to 
perform abortions as he did. That is why I support The Pain-Capable 
Unborn Child Protection Act. This bill provides national protection to 
unborn children who are capable of feeling pain by penalizing any 
doctor who provides a Gosnell-style abortion with up to 5 years in 
prison and/or up to a $250,000 fine.
   Dr. Gosnell's trial and new scientific evidence around pre-natal 
childhood development has compelled us to re-examine how late-term 
abortions are conducted and the impact on the unborn child. This 
legislation will help further reduce the pain and anguish that 
abortions can cause.
  Mr. STUTZMAN. Madam Speaker, I rise in strong support for H.R. 1797, 
legislation that will protect the most vulnerable members of society.
  The womb should be the safest place in the world for the most weakest 
among us.
  Sadly, it is not.
  The heart-wrenching case of Kermit Gosnell showed why. The Gosnell 
case exposed the abortion industry's lies and showed that abortion is 
anything but safe and it certainly isn't rare.
  Kermit Gosnell murdered newborn babies. He jabbed scissors into the 
necks of newborn babies. He severed their spines. And he stuffed their 
bodies into freezers. Now that a Pennsylvania jury delivered their 
verdict, we here in the House, acting on behalf of the American people, 
must render our verdict on abortion's grizzly truth.
  Kermit Gosnell's barbaric crimes shock the conscience of civilized 
people across this country. However, there is absolutely no moral 
distinction between ending a baby's life five seconds after birth or 
five weeks before.

[[Page H3742]]

  Madam Speaker, despite all the euphemisms and bumper-sticker slogans 
we've heard from the other side of the aisle, the issue at hand is 
clear: abortion businesses like Planned Parenthood regularly perform 
abortions on unborn babies who, like Gosnell's victims, are capable of 
feeling pain.
  Kermit Gosnell brought us face to face with abortion's ugly truth. 
The American people cannot turn their back on that truth now.
  Gosnell, just like late-term abortionists across this country, sold 
lies to young women. Madam Speaker, my heart breaks for these women. 
These are young women who find themselves in a seemingly impossible 
situation. They're young women like my mother.
  Madam Speaker, on a December night in 1975, my 17-year old mother 
discovered she was pregnant with her first child. That night, alone and 
terrified, she decided to find a way to make the 40 mile trip to 
Kalamazoo, Michigan, to ``take care of her situation.'' If she had, 
Madam Speaker, I wouldn't be standing here on the House floor today.
  Just a few months ago, my mom shared her story with me. After we 
cried together, I had to think ``what if there had been a `Gosnell' 
clinic four miles away instead of 40?''
  Madam Speaker, I can't imagine how scared my mom must have been and 
how alone she felt. So many women find themselves in a similar 
situation and so many are told lies by the abortion industry.
  Since 1973, more than 55 million inno ent babies have been killed 
because of Big Abortion's lies. Madam Speaker, my mother had the 
courage to reject these lies. Today, here in Congress, we have to ask 
ourselves if we do too.
  Let's outlaw these Gosnell-style abortions. Let's stand up for those 
who cannot speak for themselves and end barbaric procedures that have 
no business here in the civilized world.
  Ms. EDDIE BERNICE JOHNSON of Texas. Mr. Speaker, I rise in opposition 
to H.R. 1797, the ``Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act.'' This 
bill represents a new line of attack on women's reproductive rights. It 
would criminalize abortions twenty weeks after fertilization, limiting 
women's ability to make their own choices about their pregnancies and 
their lives.
  I am not pro-abortion, but I am pro-choice. The Constitution 
guarantees all of us a right to privacy and freedom of religion. A 
woman must be free to make the difficult decision about the future of 
her pregnancy in conjunction with her family, religious advisers, and 
health care professionals.
  The narrow exceptions to this blanket ban on abortions after twenty 
weeks are insufficient to guarantee women's health and safety. They do 
not change the fact that this bill would deny women the care they need, 
even in emergencies or in the case of unreported sexual assault.
  H.R. 1797 is a direct challenge to Roe. v. Wade, and would 
significantly erode women's freedom and right to individual choice. I 
strongly believe that protecting women's rights and guaranteeing 
women's safety must be our priority. I urge my colleagues to oppose 
H.R. 1797 and support women's right to choose.
  Mr. GOODLATTE. Madam Speaker, I would like to submit the following:

         House of Representatives, Committee on Oversight and 
           Government Reform,
                                    Washington, DC, June 14, 2013.
     Hon. Bob Goodlatte,
     Chairman, Committee on the Judiciary, Washington, DC.
       Dear Mr. Chairman: I am writing concerning H.R. 1797, the 
     ``District of Columbia Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection 
     Act,'' which your Committee reported on June 12, 2013.
       H.R. 1797 contains provisions within the Committee on 
     Oversight and Government Reform's Rule X jurisdiction. As a 
     result of your having consulted with the Committee and in 
     order to expedite this bill for floor consideration, the 
     Committee on Oversight and Government Reform will forego 
     action on the bill. This is being done on the basis of our 
     mutual understanding that doing so will in no way diminish or 
     alter the jurisdiction of the Committee on Oversight and 
     Government Reform with respect to the appointment of 
     conferees, or to any future jurisdictional claim over the 
     subject matters contained in the bill or similar legislation.
       I would appreciate your response to this letter confirming 
     this understanding, and would request that you include a copy 
     of this letter and your response in the Committee Report and 
     in the Congressional Record during the floor consideration of 
     this bill. Thank you in advance for your cooperation.
           Sincerely,
                                                     Darrell Issa,
     Chairman.
                                  ____

                                         House of Representatives,


                                   Committee on the Judiciary,

                                    Washington, DC, June 17, 2013.
     Hon. Darrell Issa,
     Chairman, Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, 
         Washington, DC.
       Dear Chairman Issa: Thank you for your June 14 letter 
     regarding H.R. 1797, the ``Pain-Capable Unborn Child 
     Protection Act,'' which the Judiciary Committee ordered 
     reported favorably to the House, as amended, on June 12, 
     2013.
       I am most appreciative of your decision to forego 
     consideration of H.R. 1797, as amended, so that it may move 
     expeditiously to the House floor. I acknowledge that although 
     you are waiving formal consideration of the bill, the 
     Committee on Oversight and Government Reform is in no way 
     waiving its jurisdiction over the subject matter contained in 
     the bill. In addition, if a conference is necessary on this 
     legislation, I will support any request that your committee 
     be represented therein.
       Finally, I am pleased to include this letter and your June 
     14 letter in the Congressional Record during floor 
     consideration of H.R. 1797.
           Sincerely,
                                                    Bob Goodlatte,
                                                         Chairman.

  Mr. HOLT. Madam Speaker, I rise today in strong opposition to H.R. 
1797, which would violate the constitutional rights of every woman in 
America.
  Why is the majority proposing a bill that treats women as second-
class citizens? A female constituent in Trenton wrote to me and asked,

       Why is it that any person, feels entitled to make a 
     personal decision of this magnitude his business? How in any 
     way is he qualified to make any decisions about my future, my 
     body, my children? The Congress and Senate are spouting 
     politics in what is completely personal matters. I do so 
     heartily wish that Congress would spend our tax dollars on 
     legitimate affairs of state and country--not affairs that do 
     not concern them in any way whatsoever.

  But we're not spending our time on important issues of state and 
country, such as fostering job creation or helping middle class 
families afford college.
  Instead, once again, the Majority is asking Congress to play doctor. 
This bill is an attempt to ban safe, legal, and often medically-
necessary abortion services for women. It's unconstitutional, and it is 
a direct assault on the dignity and independence of each American 
woman.
  Mr. GENE GREEN of Texas. Madam Speaker, I rise in strong opposition 
to the bill, H.R. 1797.
  At a time of enduring economic troubles we should not bog down the 
House of Representatives with this type of legislation. I know my 
Republican colleagues are sincere in their pursuit to end abortions 
after 20 weeks and probably before 20 weeks too. We've heard their 
concerns, but they're just plain wrong.
  The decision to have an abortion is a private one. It should be made 
by the patient, in consultation with her physician, her family, and 
faith leader, if she chooses. Congress has no place micromanaging the 
practice of medicine by deciding what medical procedures are 
appropriate and at what time. We should not be intruding on the privacy 
and medical decisions of individuals.
  The right for a woman to make her own medical decisions has been 
rightfully upheld by our courts. Those of us in this chamber may not 
believe that abortion is moral or right and we are free to disagree 
with those who seek abortion. We have already stated numerous times 
that federal funds may not be used to provide the procedure.
  But, we must end this pursuit to erode access to types of healthcare 
we do not like. It will drive women to much less safe alternatives and 
criminalize doctors who wish to provide a safe environment. We should 
not go back in time.
  Instead, it is time for us to really tackle the issues that confront 
our country: growing our economy, achieving comprehensive immigration 
reform, and putting our Nation on the track for prosperity for years to 
come.
  Mr. BLUMENAUER. Madam Speaker, here they go again.
  Once more, the Republican controlled House is seeking to limit 
women's access to safe reproductive health care through this 
legislation, the ``Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act.'' While it 
is couched in the language of protecting unborn fetuses from pain, this 
bill is nothing more than a poorly disguised effort to force women and 
their families to give up their constitutionally protected rights (so 
far). The bill is not going anywhere and it inflames an issue that is 
among the most sensitive.
  Roe vs. Wade, which was decided 40 years ago, is the law of the land. 
But still we have to go through this annual charade as Republican 
leadership tries to force those of us who support women's control over 
their health and potential to have children in the future to take a 
``hard vote.'' I am no political Pollyanna; I understand the politics 
behind this strategy. But let me say, unequivocally, that this is no 
``hard vote'' for me.
  It is not hard for me to stand with the millions of women who depend 
on access to

[[Page H3743]]

safe, legal abortion. It is not hard for me to vote against any bill 
that imposes the will of an intolerant, albeit vocal, minority on our 
mothers, sisters, and daughters. It is not hard for me to protect 
freedom of choice, because it is right and it is just.
  We have real challenges to address as a country, and yet Republican 
leadership is choosing to focus its efforts on this bill that would 
trump women's health, override family decisions, and compromises the 
ability to decide when and if to start a family. It's a blatant attack 
on women and it's not hard for me to say that it is wrong.
  Ms. SINEMA. Madam Speaker, I rise in opposition to this legislation. 
This bill places severe restrictions on a woman's ability to make 
personal health care decisions with her family and her doctor. Women 
and their families should be able to plan for their lives and their 
future free from the government's interference.
  Instead of arguing over ideologically motivated bills, Congress 
should work to create jobs and support middle class families. Today's 
vote is a sad distraction from the work we should be doing together for 
the American people.
  Instead of wasting taxpayers' dollars with a debate and vote on 
blatantly unconstitutional measures such as this, we should focus on 
bipartisan legislation to create jobs and restore our nation's fiscal 
health.
  Madam Speaker, I urge my colleagues to oppose this legislation.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. All time for debate has expired.
  Pursuant to House Resolution 266, the previous question is ordered on 
the bill, as amended.
  The question is on the engrossment and third reading of the bill.
  The bill was ordered to be engrossed and read a third time, and was 
read the third time.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. The question is on the passage of the bill.
  The question was taken; and the Speaker pro tempore announced that 
the ayes appeared to have it.
  Mrs. BLACKBURN. Madam Speaker, on that I demand the yeas and nays.
  The yeas and nays were ordered.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. Pursuant to clause 8 of rule XX, further 
proceedings on this question will be postponed.

                          ____________________