Today I sent an email action alert to my local senator informing him I’d like him to reconsider voting for the proposal in the title of this post. Here is the response I got.
Dear Mr. Tommy Torres,
Thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts and concerns on the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act. While we may disagree on this issue, I appreciate the opportunity to have a respectful conversation with you.
As a Christian, I believe all people are created in the image of God. Every human life is precious and should be protected. Every person has value and deserves to be treated with honor and dignity. Our Declaration of Independence begins with an affirmation of the right of each person to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
As you may know, H.R. 36 was introduced in the U.S. House by Rep. Trent Franks (AZ) on January 6, 2015. The legislation would prohibit abortions nationwide on unborn children who are beyond five months in gestation on the basis that children at and beyond that stage of development can feel pain. The bill passed the House on May 13, 2015, by a vote of 242 to 184. Senator Lindsey Graham (SC) introduced a companion bill in the Senate on June 11.
The bill codifies what many people already believe: an unborn child at five months can experience pain. The child is a unique life who deserves our protection. Science and medicine have rapidly advanced in the past decade, allowing better understanding of child development in the womb and greater opportunity for viability.
As a staunch advocate for protecting life, I am an original cosponsor of this legislation and look forward to the Senate’s consideration in the days ahead. When I served in the U.S. House, I was an original co-sponsor of the previous version of this bill, H.R. 1797, which passed the House with my support on June 18, 2013, in a vote of 228-196.
In the United States, we have laws to protect children outside the womb from abuse, harm, and death. I believe the only differences between children inside the womb and outside it are size and time. Just because they are smaller people, does not mean they should be any less protected by the law. I have the utmost respect for mothers and the plight they face. However, I will continue to stand up for those who cannot speak for themselves.
At five months most parents in Oklahoma have already seen an ultrasound to watch their baby kick independently, determine the baby’s sex, and count fingers and toes. America remains one of a handful of nations in the world, including China, North Korea and Vietnam, that allows late-term abortions. It is time for that to end.
I have sponsored numerous pro-life bills and remain opposed to abortion. I realize many Oklahomans have very strong feelings in opposition and in support of abortion practices. While we disagree on this issue, I look forward to working with you on issues where we share common ground. I hope you will continue to contact me via email at www.lankford.senate.gov for more information about my work in the United States Senate for all of us.
In God We Trust,
United States Senator