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This policy analysis paper explores the legislation H. R. 36 – 115th Congress: Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act. This legislation focuses on having legal consequences to any individual who attempts an abortion if the probable age of the fetus was 20 weeks or more. This paper goes into explicit details about this legislation, including; the bill’s goals and values, the effects it has on the society and individuals, the related versions of this bill, who supports and opposes this bill, and concluding thoughts and opinions on this bill.
The proposed legislation that will be analyzed is H. R. 36 – 115th Congress: Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act. This legislation was proposed at the federal level, where it was examined at the House and was passed. However, at the Senate, the legislation was read two times and was then referred to the Judiciary Committee. The intended goal or purpose of this legislation was to have legal consequences to any individual who attempted an abortion if the probable age of the fetus was 20 weeks or more. This legislation specifically targeted doctors, Planned Parenthood, and OBGYNs who perform the abortions. The women who endure the abortion will not be criminalized. The legal consequences for this action to any employee would be the following: a fine, five years in prison, or both. However, there are some exceptions to this legislation, which are following: when the abortion is necessary due to the life of pregnant female or if the female was pregnant due to rape or incest. This legislation also states that if the abortion is necessary then a physician must follow certain requirements during the procedure.
The goal of this legislation was to prohibit abortions after 20 weeks due to the pain that it would inflict on the fetus. There are no values that are clearly stated through this proposal, however, there are many values that are implied. The values that are implied is the protection of the unborn and the support of prolife. This proposal is based off more of a Republican stand point and a Christian based background. There are also financial effects that could come into play with this legislation if it was enacted. The Cbo. gov (2018) estimates that Medicaid cost would increase due to an increase of birth rates. CBO assumes that abortions would occur before 20 weeks and pregnancies reaching to term would increase. However, it is estimated that Medicaid would increase $175 million over the time frame from 2018-2027. If this legislation was enacted, it is likely that the state and federal taxes would be increased. The individuals who would be responsible for paying this increase would be the taxpayers. The sponsor of this bill is representative Trent Franks. He has been in congress from 2003-2017. He is affiliated with the Republican party. The latest action taken on this bill was from the Senate on 10/04/2017. The bill was received in the Senate and Read twice and referred to the Committee on the Judiciary. This bill did pass the house. It was debated in the Senate and they decided not to go forward with it.
This proposed legislation could affect any female individual who had conceived and is considering abortion. Some individuals feel as though this legislation would take away the rights women have over their body. They believe women should be able to make their own decisions over their body. However, in any case, if this legislation was executed this could affect numerous women. Statistically, abortion patients do differ from age, race, and income in the United States. Most patients who have abortions within the United States occur within the time frame of their 20s. Race is also another factor that could be looked at when debating on who this legislation will affect the most. Statistically, the abortion patient rate was the following: white (39%), black (28%), Hispanic (25%), Asian (6%), and other race/ethnicities (3%). Lastly, income does influence the statistics on the abortion patients. Statistically, poverty has had a significant impact on the abortion patients. Individuals who are living under the poverty line are 49% of individuals who have abortions, whereas, 29% of patients are still living right on the poverty line. Gender is obviously not affected on this legislation due to male genders not being able to conceive.
There are many social conditions surrounding this proposal. Abortion has always been a huge social justice issue within our nation and a very opinionated topic. This proposal, however, stated that new evidence had been found that a fetus can feel pain at 20 weeks or more after fertilization. New evidence has also stated that surgeons who are performing these procedures are giving the unborn child anesthesia. The anesthesia is used to prevent hard or severe movements during the surgery. This concludes that the unborn child can feel pain during the 20 weeks (or more after fertilization) timeframe. This legislation was being considered due to the concerns that many individuals had regarding the unborn child. The individuals who are in favor want to be an advocate for the unborn, however, the individuals who are not in favor want to advocate for the woman’s rights and their own choices over their bodies. The push for this legislation was due to the 20 states who had already had abortions banned with their own specific version. During this time frame, Republicans controlled the Congress – this gave supporters of this legislation hope that the bill would be passed. Lastly, this bill was introduced during the time frame when there were 10 videos released from Planned Parenthood. These videos included exposure of Planned Parenthood selling body parts from the babies they had aborted. This was a huge event that brought concern to many individuals and was a time where many felt as though they needed to stand for the unborn. Historical Links This piece of legislation does have historical links and previous background within the Government. This legislation has been examined by the House twice and passed prior. The prior versions where introduced as the 2013 and 2015 versions. The 2013 version was known as H. R. 1797 (113th): Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act and the 2015 version was known as H. R. 36 (114th): Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protect Act.
The sponsor of this bill is representative Trent Franks. He has been in congress from 2003-2017. He is affiliated with the Republican party. Trent Franks is a huge advocate for the unborn. Trent Franks quotes; “Late term Abortion in America has its defenders, but no true or principled defense. The Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Act seeks to afford basic protection to mothers and their unborn children entering the sixth month of gestation”. He is passionate about not only protecting the unborn, but also the mother. Another key player who supported this proposal was Kevin McCarthy, a house Majority leader. He quoted, “The bill will protect the voiceless, the vulnerable, and the marginalized. It will protect those children who science has proven can feel pain and give them a chance to grow and live full and happy lives”. “We have an obligation to speak and defend for those who can’t speak for themselves. When children can feel pain, when you can see their noses and ears, when you can hear their heartbeats and feel their movement — at the very least we can all agree these children should be protected”.
Opposition The Obama White House was one key player who opposed this proposal. “Women should be able to make their own choices about their bodies and their health care, and Government should not inject itself into decisions best made between a woman and her doctor”. “Not only is the basis for H. R. 36 scientifically disputed, the bill disregards women’s health and rights, the role doctors play in their patients’ health care decisions, and the Constitution. ” Another opposer of this legislation is Representative Dina Titus. Dina Titus is a huge advocate for the woman’s choice over their body. She quoted; “In short, the bill significantly reduces the safe, legal options that women have and prevents doctors from providing the most medically appropriate care for their patients.
“Social justice is an important component of civil rights – Social justice reflects fairness to all in society. All people have the same basic rights, protections, opportunities, and social benefits, as well as the same social obligations”. In other words, it’s the act of fairness within our society and the justice for that fairness. This legislation is a social justice issue within our society due to the lack of justice for not only the child, but also the woman. This is a controversy legislation because one could argue that women should have the same reproductive freedom that men have, or women should have the right to a choice regarding their bodies and their futures, or that the fetus deserves a right to live. These are all social justice issues that all of them could be considered unfair and inhumane within our society.
The legislation H. R. 36 -115th Congress: Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act seems like a legislation I would consider. I feel like it gives 20 weeks or more for the mother to decide what happens to her and gives her the choice over her body. This legislation also protects the unborn by developing the 20-week law, so that the fetus does not feel pain if the mother does decide to have an abortion. I think this legislation not only considers the unborn, but also considers the mother. This legislation also takes into consideration certain situations like rape and incest. I think this is a legislation that should be considered in the future and be considered within our Senate.
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