NCHLA issues regular reports on pro-life legislation in Congress.

Here you can access the most recent report or end of year final reports from previous years where available

Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act Passes in the House

There is substantial medical evidence that an unborn child can experience pain at least by 20 weeks after fertilization.  With limited exceptions, the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act (H.R. 36) would make it unlawful to perform or attempt to perform an abortion if the probable post-fertilization age of the unborn child is 20 weeks or greater.


On January 3, 2017, Rep. Trent Franks (R-AZ) introduced The Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act (H.R. 36). The measure had 182 cosponsors and was referred to the House Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution and Civil Justice.


On October 3, 2017, H.R 36 was brought to the floor for a vote.
A motion to recommit the bill back to committee was defeated by a vote of 187-yes, 238-no, 8-not voting.  (Roll Call 548). “No” was a pro-life vote.
The House then passed the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act (H.R. 36), 237 -yes, 189-no, 7-not voting (Roll Call 549). “Yes” was a pro-life vote.
On October 4, the House sent H.R. 36 to the Senate where, after being read twice, was referred to the Committee on the Judiciary.


On October 5, 2017, Sen Lindsey Graham (R-SC) introduced a companion bill in the Senate.  S. 1922 has 45 cosponsors as was referred to the Committee on the Judiciary.

More Information

Cardinal Dolan, Chairman of the Bishops’ Committee on Pro-Life Activities, called on Congress to support this common-sense abortion policy reform. In a September 29 letter to the House he pointed out to law makers that “[a]lthough we want, and will continue to work for, protections in law for human life from the beginning of its existence, for several reasons we think the proposed ban on abortion at 20 weeks after fertilization is a place to begin uniting Americans who see themselves as ‘“pro-life’” and as ‘“pro-choice’”.”  The Cardinal also pointed out that late-term abortion, in addition to being repulsive to “all decent and humane people” poses “…serious dangers to women – as evidenced by a disturbing number of news stories about the death or serious health complications of women undergoing such procedures.”

For the full text of Cardinal Dolan’s letter to Congress see: