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Pennsylvania House of Representatives
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House of Representatives
Session of 2015 - 2016 Regular Session


Posted: November 30, 2015 02:42 PM
From: Representative Kathy L. Rapp and Rep. Bryan Barbin, Rep. Bryan Cutler
To: All House members
Subject: Pain Capable/Dismemberment Pro-Life Legislation
The growing body of scientific evidence shows what many of us have come to know through our own personal experience. That is that babies are capable of feeling pain prior to their birth. We see this in the miraculous cardiac surgeries which are performed on babies still in utero and see their reaction to external stimulation during the pregnancy.

Additionally, most of us have been personally touched by stories from our families and our constituents of babies born very prematurely. These micro-premies, weighing at times less than a single pound, show us all the preciousness of life which exists by the 20th week of pregnancy.

Because of this growing body of research and scientific evidence, we intend to introduce legislation which would amend the Abortion Control Act to reflect the scientific advances we have seen in the last 20 years. We intend to update the Abortion Control Act to reflect a 20 week cut off of gestational development. This has been shown to be when all babies are capable of feeling pain and when the likelihood of a substantial complication for the mother seems to increase.

Furthermore, we intend to include language which would prohibit the use of the barbaric dismemberment abortion practice. Dismemberment abortions occur when a baby's life is terminated by removing their limbs. As the baby is capable of feeling pain at these gestational ages, it is unconscionable for us to continue to allow them to continue.

This legislation is focused on protecting the unborn child from pain and the mother from additional complications. I hope you will join us in cosponsoring this important legislation.

Introduced as HB1948