Sen. Lee: Bar D.C. abortions after 20 weeks, when 'pain' is felt

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Politics,Paul Bedard,Washington Secrets

Utah Sen. Mike Lee, defying courts that have tossed out state laws barring abortion past when fetuses can feel pain, is proposing a budget amendment to stop abortion clinics in Washington, D.C. from conducting the operations after 20 weeks.

"There is substantial medical evidence that unborn children experience pain by at least 20 weeks of development," said the Republican. "Congress has the responsibility to protect the lives of the most vulnerable among us. My amendment would protect unborn children from painful abortion procedures, while creating exceptions when the life of the mother is jeopardized."

His amendment, No. 252, was included in a list of others he wants to add to the budget being debated in the Senate. According to the statement:

"The DC Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection amendment expresses that it is the sense of the senate that there is substantial medical evidence that unborn children experience pain by at least 20 weeks after fertilization. It also establishes that Congress should enact legislation that would make it unlawful within the District of Columbia to perform an abortion of unborn children after that point in time that they will feel pain and suffer from that procedure.

Just this month, a federal court in Idaho struck down a law banning abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy based on beliefs that the fetus is able to feel pain at that point.