Abortion bills on Congressional agenda

Published 9:09 am Friday, September 18, 2015

Roe Quote
Shortly after returning to session from a recess, members of Congress are already tackling tough issues, according to U.S. Rep. Phil Roe, R-1st.
“This week, we are going to debate and vote on a couple of important bills dealing with abortion,” Roe said. “The first is (U.S.) Rep. Diane Black’s bill to put a moratorium on funding for Planned Parenthood for one year until an investigation can be completed, and the second is the Pain Capable Child Protection Act, which would ban abortions after 20 weeks except for under extreme circumstances.”
Black, a Republican representing Tennessee’s 6th Congressional District, filed her bill July 21 in the wake of controversy created by videos of Planned Parenthood officials allegedly discussing the sale of tissue and organs harvested from aborted babies, a process prohibited under federal law.
In the videos, officials with Planned Parenthood are show discussing how the abortion process can be altered in order to make the harvesting of organs and tissues easier.
“If you have never seen the videos, I don’t have the right adjectives to describe them,” Roe said. “It is just horrible — the selling of body parts and changing the way the abortion is performed to assist in the harvesting of those parts.”
Roe, who retired from his medical career as an obstetrician and gynecologist, said the videos “offended” him as a doctor.
Black, who has been a nurse for more than 40 years, said the issues dealt with in her bill are “close to her heart.”
“Nearly two months ago, a veil was lifted giving Americans a window into the true heart and soul of Planned Parenthood and implicating the organization in the alleged trafficking of aborted babies’ tissue and organs. This callous disrespect for innocent life is heartbreaking and it demands a response from Congress,” Black said. “Investigations are underway now, but there are more than enough lingering questions to stop the money flow to this abortion giant while Congress conducts a full review into its activities.”
The bill has 178 co-sponsors, including Roe, who signed on the day the bill was filed, and fellow Tennessee delegation members Rep. John Duncan Jr. (R-TN-2), Rep. Charles Fleischmann (R-TN-3), Rep. Scott DesJarlais (R-TN-4), Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN-7) and Rep. Stephen Fincher (R-TN-8).
The Pain Capable Child Protection Act was introduced in the House of Representatives in January by Rep. Trent Franks, a Republican from Arizona. As with the bill to put a hold on Planned Parenthood funds, this Act also has a large amount of support from the Tennessee Delegation as Roe, Black, Duncan, Fleishmann, DesJarlais and Fincher all signed on as co-sponsors of the legislation.
The Act passed the House of Representatives in May and debate on the bill has now been taken up by the Senate, Roe said. The bill received its second floor reading in the Senate on Wednesday.
Under the terms of the Act, doctors would be required to determine the probably post-fertilization age of the unborn child before performing an abortions. The Act also prohibits an abortion being performed if the unborn child is at 20 weeks gestation or later. The bill does provide exceptions to the prohibition, including for cases where an abortion is necessary to save the life of the mother “who is endangered by a physical disorder, illness or injury excluding psychological or emotional conditions; cases of an adult woman who has been raped and has received medical treatment or counseling for the rape at least 48 hours prior to the abortion; or cases of rape or incest against a minor providing that the rape or incest was reported to a law enforcement agency or other government agency legally authorized to act on reports of child abuse.
In order for an abortion to be performed in an exempted case, the physician must document the treatment, counseling, or reporting of the rape or incest into the patient’s medical file.

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