- The Washington Times - Wednesday, April 6, 2011


After 38 years, the regime of Roe v. Wade is starting to lose its grip on public accept- -ance. As more and more people recognize the sanctity of human life, states are moving to enact legal protections for the unborn after 20 weeks of gestation. Recent scientific evidence suggests children at this stage of development are able to feel pain.

That’s why the Alabama House of Representatives is expected to consider the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act today. The bill notes that anesthesia is routinely administered to unborn children undergoing prenatal surgery beyond 20 weeks and prohibits anyone from performing an abortion except to save the mother’s life. Similar language passed Idaho’s legislature Tuesday and awaits the signature of Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback. Nebraska was the first to enact a pain-capable restriction that was signed into law last year.

Other ideas are making their way through various stages of the legislative process. Virginia began consideration yesterday of an amendment proposed by Gov. Robert F. McDonnell prohibiting the state health-insurance exchange created by Obamacare from including coverage for abortion, although his language included some controversial exceptions. Mr. McDonnell also signed a new law that requires abortion clinics to meet the same regulatory and safety standards as hospitals - to the horror of General Assembly Democrats forced for the first time in their careers to vote against a regulation.

New Hampshire’s House passed a parental-notice bill last month; South Dakota enacted a law requiring a three-day waiting period before an abortion; and Texas passed a bill requiring a sonogram between 24 and 72 hours before an abortion on the theory that mothers seeing the actual child would have second thoughts about what they intended to do.

Elected officials at the state level are responding to polls that find an increasing percentage of Americans declaring themselves pro-life. As many as 60 percent either approve of abortion bans or want to pass stricter limits than now exist. This shows that we as a nation hold sacred not just the rights to liberty and the pursuit of happiness, but the right to life as well.

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