Tuesday, the House passed the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, a bill designed to eliminate abortions after 20 weeks except in some cases of rape and incest. Supporters of the bill contended that fetuses feel “fetal pain” at 20 weeks and abortions should be restricted to that date.
The bill is unlikely to pass in the Senate, which is controlled by Democrats, and President Obama said he would veto the measure.
One of the lawmaker’s behind the bill, Rep. Trent Franks, an Arizona Republican, recently and erroneously claimed that “the incidence of rape resulting in pregnancy are very low.” While rape has no factual bearing on a woman’s chances of getting pregnant, the CDC found in 2009 that less than 1.3% of all abortions were performed after 21 weeks. So what’s behind the push for the 20-week ban?
Helping us to answer that question on Tuesday’s All In with Chris Hayes was Democratic Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee of Texas.
“Maybe someone was dealing with the Syrian issue or the national security issue or maybe they might have been dealing with the $20 billion cut from the Supplemental Nutrition Program,” Jackson said. “But if they were doing that, they had to get away from that to come to the floor and spend a good hour debating, as you said very clearly, a bill that is patently unconstitutional.”