HealthLawProf Blog

Editor: Katharine Van Tassel
Concordia University School of Law

Friday, December 8, 2006

Fetus Pain Bill Fails to Pass House

Yesterday, the House of Representatives failed to pass the Fetal Pain Bill.  The San Francisco Chronicle reports:

House Republicans opposed to abortion rights failed Wednesday in their bid to pass a controversial measure that would have required women seeking abortions to be informed that some fetuses feel pain.

Although it was clear the bill would have stalled in the Senate, the abortion opponents hoped the House vote would provide a symbolic victory before control of Capitol Hill passes to Democrats in January. Instead, the vote dealt social conservatives a final setback in a two-year congressional session that has not produced a major piece of anti-abortion legislation.

The bill received majority support, 250-162. But that fell short of the two-thirds majority vote required under rules that limited debate. . . .

 The bill has not been a top priority for anti-abortion activists. Their movement suffered a tougher loss earlier in the fall when a measure to strengthen parental consent laws was derailed in the Senate after passing the House.

The fetal pain bill was sponsored by Rep. Chris Smith, R-N.J. . . .  The bill would have required that the women be offered the choice of having anesthesia administered to the fetus.

Talkleft provides a brief discussion on the bill as well.

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