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Congressman Steve Russell

Representing the 5th District of Oklahoma

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Rep. Russell Statement on Passage of the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act

October 3, 2017
Press Release

Washington, DC – Rep. Steve Russell (OK-5) today voted for H.R. 36, the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act. This bill is also known as “Micah's Law” in honor of Micah Pickering, a five-year-old boy who was born prematurely at 20 weeks. At birth, Micah was no bigger than a pack of M&M’s, and he spent four months in intensive care. Nevertheless, he was able to survive and thrive. This year, Micah is starting kindergarten.

This legislation protects children like Micah from abortion at 20 weeks, or about the sixth month of pregnancy. Medical evidence shows that at 20 weeks, unborn children can feel pain. Yet we permit the painful deaths of countless children each year in violent late-term abortions. To right this wrong, H.R. 36 establishes criminal penalties for any person who performs or attempts an abortion on an unborn child after the 20-week mark. In addition, it provides exceptions to save the life of the mother, and in cases of rape or incest.

Rep. Russell commented on voting in support of H.R. 36, stating: “This bill protects unborn children, who can feel pain, from the violence of abortion. Saving the lives of millions of unborn children is a moral issue. The United States is one of only seven countries that allow elective abortions after 20 weeks. Along with China and North Korea, America is in the top four percent of countries with the most permissive abortion policies. Our nation can do better. Our society must protect these vulnerable, innocent lives from the barbarity of abortion.”