House Rejects Bill on Notice of Pain to Fetuses
The House of Representatives today rejected the Republican-sponsored bill that would have required notice to women getting abortions that the fetus might feel pain.
In the House, Republican leaders gave its anti-abortion base one final shot at abortion legislation before Democrats take over control of the agenda.
The House rejected a proposal that would have required abortion providers to inform women at least 20 weeks pregnant that abortions cause pain to the fetus. The vote was 250-162, short of the two-thirds majority needed under a procedure that limited debate.
The bill defined a 20-week-old fetus as a "pain-capable unborn child." That's a controversial threshold among scientists, who don't agree on whether a fetus at that stage of development feels pain or reflectively draws back from stimuli. Abortion has been legal in the United States since a 1973 Supreme Court ruling.
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