District of Columbia Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act (H.R. 3803)

House Roll Call No. 539
112nd Congress, 2nd Session

Failed: 220-154 (see complete tally)
In the nation's capital, the District of Columbia, abortion is currently legal for any reason until the moment of birth, because the "District Council" (city council) repealed the entire abortion law.  The Constitution gives Congress and the president responsibility for the governance of the District.  H.R. 3803, the District of Columbia Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, sponsored by Rep. Trent Franks (R-Az.) and strongly backed by NRLC, would replace this policy with a law generally prohibiting abortion after 20 weeks past fertilization, except when an acute physical condition endangers the life of the mother.  (This is equivalent to 22 weeks in the alternate “LMP” or “weeks of pregnancy” dating system used by ob-gyns and abortion providers.)  The bill contains extensive congressional findings that by 20 weeks fetal age, if not earlier, the unborn child is capable of experiencing great pain when being dismembered in a D&E abortion or killed by other late abortion techniques.  On July 31, 2012, the House of Representatives voted 220-154 in favor of the bill -- a 66-vote majority, but short of the two-thirds majority required for passage under the fast-track procedure ("suspension of the rules") under which the bill was considered.  Republicans split in favor of the bill 203-6, with 2 voting "present."  Democrats split against the bill 17-148.  The 154 House members who voted "no" voted in effect to endorse and preserve the current District policy of allowing legal abortion for any reason until birth.  House roll call no. 539, July 31, 2012.  (The Senate companion bill is S. 2103.)

Vote Map: House Roll Call No. 539
Votes For : 220
Votes Against : 154
Voted "Present" : 2
Not Voting : 55

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