The GOP-controlled House voted 242-184 on May 13 to approve the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, which would ban abortions after 20 weeks and require rape victims to get counseling or medical treatment at least 48 hours before an abortion.
For minors who have been impregnated via sexual assault or incest, abortion providers would have to notify either the police or social services, notes Talking Points Memo.
Also, if the fetus appears to be able to survive outside of the womb, then an abortion provider must seek medical care for the fetus.
Although the bill is unlikely to pass the Senate or be signed by President Barack Obama, some House Republicans believe it will become law and would survive a challenge at the U.S. Supreme Court.
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Republican Rep. Chris Smith of New Jersey said, "I think this is likely to get a challenge in the court and I think it's likely to prevail," reported The Hill.
The notion behind the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act is that fetuses can feel pain after 20 weeks, although that claim is medically questionable, reported Mother Jones.
Republican House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio claimed the bill was "the most pro-life legislation to ever come before this body," and added, "We should all be proud to take this stand today," reported The Associated Press.
White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest countered, "The bill continues to add a harsh burden to survivors of sexual assault, rape and incest who are already enduring unimaginable hardship."
Republican House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy of California told The Weekly Standard, "Life is precious and we must do everything we can to fight for it and protect it."
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Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina plans to introduce a Senate version of the bill, and Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky promises to bring the bill up for a vote.
Sources: AP, The Weekly Standard, Talking Points Memo, The Hill, Mother Jones
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