Column: U.S. must move closer to the standard of Europe on abortion


Pete Loganbill

Features editor

Forty-five years after the Supreme Court’s decision to legalize abortion, the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act in front of Congress last month would have criminalized abortions at the 20th week of pregnancy.

The bill did not pass. Although the final vote in the Senate was 51-46 in favor, a Democratic filibuster stopped it, meaning it would require 60 votes to pass.

I’m not going to rant about how I believe abortion is murder in every case, or how Planned Parenthood should be defunded. I think both those of these statements are true, but that’s for a different time. However, I believe it’s absurd from multiple standards that this bill did not pass.

Get ready for some legalese, here’s what’s in the bill.

The point of the bill is straightforward. Section three states, “Prohibition on performance of certain abortions – generally for unborn children 20 weeks or older.” There are exceptions, and I’ll get to those later.

As stated in section two, the legislation was written in response to evidence that, “After 20 weeks, the unborn child reacts to stimuli that would be recognized as painful if applied to an adult human, for example, by recoiling.” While there is no way to determine if pain is felt, what Congress declared is true, the response to the stimuli is the same between the fetus and adults.

Congress determined this in response to several studies, one of which was published by the National Center for Biotechnology, called “Pain and stress in the human fetus.” The abstract of the study stated, “Invasive diagnostic and therapeutic techniques are increasingly applied to the fetus. It is not known if the fetus feels pain during such procedures, but the fetus does mount significant stress hormonal and circulatory changes in response to these from 18-20 weeks.” This is not a ridiculous standard, it is actually lower than the standard of Europe.

Under section 218 of the German penal code, nearly all abortions are criminalized after the 12th week. In a video done by Prager University, Elisha Krauss, talk show radio host and contributor to The Daily Wire, explains how Denmark, Finland, and France also have restrictions after the 12th week of pregnancy.

Near the end of the video, Krauss asks why abortions laws in Europe are so different than in the United States.

“Why is it that progressive politicians in the United States work tirelessly to fight back any restrictions on abortion …?” Krauss said. “And why is it that what is unacceptable to socially enlightened Europeans is fully acceptable to American progressives? Europeans seem to recognize that abortion is a complex moral issue, [and] that ending a life after a certain point in a pregnancy does not reflect well on a society.”

I often hear those who call themselves “pro-choice” say they do so because of cases of rape. So, they vote for candidates who call themselves the same.

A study I found surprising a few months ago found that only one percent of abortions take place for this reason. This study was conducted by the Guttmacher Institute in 1987 and 2004, and produced the same result each time.

Almost every Republican abortion bill compensates for these cases, including H.R. 36, as stated in section three under “exceptions.”

I know there are other reasons these politicians were voted in, even when it comes to causes of pregnancy, but please do not call yourself “pro-choice” because of one percent of the cases and vote for candidates who stop reasonable bills like H.R. 36.

The pro-life party is trying to compensate for hard cases, while the party that calls itself simply pro-choice will not even let this country move closer to the standard of the progressive Europe they usually so admire.

Currently, the United States’ abortion laws are closer in company to those of China and North Korea. We join them as three of the seven countries that allow on-demand abortions after the 20th week of pregnancy.

Can we please move closer to the like of Europe in this area? Was H.R. 36 really that ridiculous of a standard?


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