Pro-life activists denounced the House’s failure to pass a measure that would have required women seeking abortions to be informed that some fetuses feel pain.
The fetal pain bill was defeated Wednesday by a vote of 250-162, falling short of the of the two-thirds majority vote required. The bill was introduced by Rep. Chris Smith (R-N.J.) who said it was "absolutely" the hope of the bill’s supporters that it would "dissuade a woman from allowing her child to be killed."
"It’s about time that women were told the truth about abortion," Smith said, according to Los Angeles Times.
"Abortion not only kills a baby, it tortures them," said Wendy Wright, president of Concerned Women for America, in a statement released after Wednesday’s vote. "Women deserve full information before making a life-altering decision that will end their baby's life and haunt them forever."
Wright noted that by the 20th week of pregnancy, the baby feels more pain than the mother.
"Regrettably, congressmen – many who denounced the use of torture against suspected terrorists – have voted to not let women know that abortion will torture their innocent unborn babies," the CWA head concluded.
In addition to requiring abortion providers to inform women seeking to terminate their pregnancy that some fetuses as young as 20 weeks old feel pain during abortion, the pro-life bill would also have required abortionists to provide patients with a consent form requesting or refusing anesthesia for the unborn baby.
Some have called the bill a "two-edged sword." Paul Schenck, founder and executive director of the National Pro Life Action Center (NPLAC), said although the bill raises awareness to the pain experience by the child during abortion, it sends the "intolerable" message that you can "legally kill the child – just consider anesthetizing her before you do it."
"Still," said Schenck in a released statement, "the debate was useful in calling attention to the suffering of the aborted child, and the careless and expedient way in which women in distress are treated."