By Robert Pittenger
Did you know the United States, China, and North Korea are among just seven nations, which permit elective, late-term abortions?
Our nation suffers an egregious offense to be listed with North Korea and China, two oppressive regimes that show no respect for human rights or human life.
Recent advancements in science and medical research have provided us with an unprecedented window into the early stages of human life. When a mother is five months pregnant, her baby can yawn, stretch and move its 10 little fingers and 10 little toes in the womb. Most important, we also now know that at five months, a baby is fully capable of feeling pain. To perform an abortion at 20 weeks into a pregnancy, pulling a baby apart limb by limb, exposes the defenseless baby to excruciating pain and suffering.
Some scoff that babies at just 20 weeks aren’t viable. But children like 4-year-old Micah Pickering, 6-year-old Alexis Hutchinson, and 10-year-old twins Hunter and Dacry Ridley would disagree. They are just a few of the babies born at 20 weeks who now lead healthy, happy lives.
This week, the U.S. House of Representatives took action to protect those unable to speak for themselves. With a bipartisan vote, we passed the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act (H.R. 36), which bans elective abortions after 20 weeks post-fertilization. As an active and engaged member of the Congressional Pro-Life Caucus, I was one of the first to co-sponsor this legislation and spoke strongly in support during formal House debate.
Banning late-term, elective abortions is a common sense step supported by the majority of Americans. At heart, we all understand that late-term elective abortion contradicts our fundamental American values. We are a nation grounded in the understanding that all people are created equal and endowed by their Creator with the inalienable right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
Late-term elective abortions deny defenseless babies their God-given rights, and the fact we are currently one of only seven nations to allow such cruelty is nothing less than a smear on our national morality.
Often, it feels as if our society is drifting away from its moral foundation. The values and principles that have guided generations of Americans seem to be dissipating right before our eyes. Perhaps the solution to our problems, including the culture of violence and disrespect, is for our nation to reaffirm our commitment to Judeo-Christian values. Yet, as a country, we cannot regain our moral footing while at the same time we fail to speak up for the most vulnerable and defenseless among us.
As a Christian, father and grandfather, I believe that life is the Lord’s greatest gift and must be protected. Throughout my time in Congress, I have always fought for the unborn. In addition to being one of the first to co-sponsor the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, earlier this year I wrote a letter to President Trump, co-signed by nearly 150 additional Members of Congress, outlining our shared pro-life goals.
Ultimately, the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act is a critical step toward regaining our nation’s civility. This week, I took action to speak for those unable to speak for themselves. My hope is that once again, America will be a nation that upholds the value and sanctity of life, regardless of race, sex and age.
Congressman Robert Pittenger (NC-09) is chairman of the Congressional Task Force on Terrorism and Unconventional Warfare and vice chairman of the Subcommittee on Terrorism and Illicit Finance. He serves on the House Financial Services Committee, with a special focus on supporting small businesses, community banks and credit unions.