S. 1670 is the Senate version of H.R. 1797 (with the same title) passed by the House last June 18. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) introduced the bill in the Senate on November 7. The bill was referred to the Senate Judiciary Committee on November 11, but there has been no further action taken since, despite the fact the 40 senators signed on as cosponsors last November.
The bill would ban abortions throughout the United States after 20 weeks (five months) of pregnancy, based on the premise “that there is substantial medical evidence that an unborn child is capable of experiencing pain at least by 20 weeks after fertilization, if not earlier.”
The letter from Ayotte and her 32 colleagues, directed at those senators who have not yet come on board in support of S. 1670, proclaims: “It is time that we in Congress act to bring the United States out of the fringe and closer to international norm on late abortions.” The letter notes that the only other countries in the world that allow abortions after 20 weeks are China, North Korea, Vietnam, Singapore, Canada, and the Netherlands and that the United States is second in population among these, after China.
The senators reminded their colleagues that the House had already taken action by passing the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act (H.R. 1797) in June with bipartisan support and that similar legislation had been enacted in more than a dozen states, with others considering it.
“Our nation’s traditional devotion to human rights also calls out for this humane and compassionate response,” wrote the senators.
Life News notes that 13 states have enacted 20-week abortion limits based on the unborn child’s ability to feel pain.
The 40 senators (all Republicans) who have cosponsored S. 1670 (besides Ayotte and Graham) are Lamar Alexander (Tenn.), John Barrasso (Wy.), Roy Blunt ( Mo.), John Boozman (Ark.), Richard Burr (N.C.), Saxby Chambliss (Ga.), Daniel Coats (Ind.), Tom Coburn (Okla.), Thad Cochran (Miss.), Bob Corker (Tenn.), John Cornyn (Texas), Mike Crapo (Idaho), Ted Cruz (Texas), Michael Enzi (Wy.), Deb Fischer (Neb.), Jeff Flake (Ariz.), Chuck Grassley (Iowa), Orrin Hatch (Utah), John Hoeven (N.D.), James Inhofe (Okla.), Johnny Isakson (Ga.), Mike Johanns (Neb.), Ron Johnson (Wisc.), Mike Lee (Utah), John McCain (Ariz.), Mitch McConnell (Ky.), Jerry Moran (Kan.), Rand Paul (Ky.), Rob Portman (Ohio), James Risch (Idaho), Pat Roberts (Kan.), Marco Rubio (Fla.), Tim Scott (S.C.), Jeff Sessions (Ala.), Richard Shelby (Ala.), John Thune (S.D.), Pat Toomey (Pa.), David Vitter (La.), and Roger Wicker (Miss.).
Republicans Susan Collins (Maine), Mark Kirk (Ill.), Linda Murkowski (Alaska), and Dean Heller (Nev.) did not cosponsor S. 1670.
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