Washington, DC – Rep. Pete Olson (TX-22) [on Tuesday] voted to protect unborn children old enough to feel pain during the abortion process. Olson was a co-sponsor of and voted for H.R. 1797, a bill, which prohibits abortion after a child reaches 20 weeks gestation. This bill will both safeguard unborn children and take an important and necessary step toward protecting the health and safety of women from the dangers inherent in abortion. The bill passed the House by a vote of 228-196.
"Protecting unborn children from a painful death is an important function of the government's role to protect life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness," Rep. Olson said. "Equally important is protecting women from increased health risks from late-term abortions. This bill contains an important exemption if an abortion is necessary to save the life of a pregnant woman. While I oppose abortion at any stage, this bill is an important step in protecting unborn babies and their mothers. It is also supported by a majority of Americans. I'm proud to be a voice for the unborn children who don't have one."
In a 2007, Supreme Court case, Gonzales v. Carhart, the Court found that, “The government may use its voice and its regulatory authority to show its profound respect for the life within the woman,” and that Congress may show such respect for the unborn through “specific regulation because it implicates additional ethical and moral concerns that justify a special prohibition.” Justice Kennedy, who wrote the majority opinion in the Carhart case, also wrote that the government has “an interest in forbidding medical procedures which, in the [government’s] reasonable determination, might cause the medical profession or society as a whole to become insensitive, even disdainful, to life, including life in the human fetus … even life which cannot survive without the assistance of others.”