In a cynical and mean-spirited attempt to reach out to their vaunted “base,” lame-duck conservative House Republicans plan on ignoring their duties to pass spending bills that would benefit the poor, and instead will put their energies into passing a “fetal pain” abortion bill based on “science” rejected by the American Medical Association.
But while spending bills aren’t on the agenda, a “fetal pain abortion bill”—which has no chance of passing and is described as a “last bid for loyalty” from the “base of social conservatives”—is:
The bill, by Rep. Chris Smith, R-N.J., defines a 20-week-old fetus as a “pain-capable unborn child” a highly controversial threshold among scientists. It also directs the Health and Human Service Department to develop a brochure stating “that there is substantial evidence that the process of being killed in an abortion will cause the unborn child pain.”
A report last year by the Journal of the American Medical Association reviewed nearly 2,000 studies on fetal pain and concluded that “legislative proposals to allow fetal pain relief during abortion are not justified by scientific evidence.”