H.R.36 – Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act

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Week ending October 6, 2017

H.R.36 – Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act


“This bill amends the federal criminal code to make it a crime for any person to perform or attempt to perform an abortion if the probable post-fertilization age of the fetus is 20 weeks or more.” – crs

The bill is based on this conclusion, ‘Pain receptors (nociceptors) are present throughout the unborn child’s entire body and nerves link these receptors to the brain’s thalamus and subcortical plate by no later than 20 weeks after fertilization.’

Notwithstanding any other provision of law, it shall be unlawful for any person to perform an abortion or attempt to do so, unless in conformity with the requirements set forth:

The physician performing or attempting the abortion shall first make a determination of the probable post-fertilization age of the unborn child or reasonably rely upon such a determination made by another physician. In making such a determination, the physician shall make such inquiries of the pregnant woman and perform or cause to be performed such medical examinations and tests as a reasonably prudent physician, knowledgeable about the case and the medical conditions involved, would consider necessary to make an accurate determination of post-fertilization age.

Except ‘in reasonable medical judgment, the abortion is necessary to save the life of a pregnant woman whose life is endangered by a physical disorder, physical illness, or physical injury, including a life-endangering physical condition caused by or arising from the pregnancy itself, but not including psychological or emotional conditions;’  the pregnancy is the result of rape against an adult woman, and at least 48 hours prior to the abortion, she has obtained counseling for the rape; or  she has obtained medical treatment for the rape or an injury related to the rape; or the pregnancy is a result of rape against a minor or incest against a minor, and the rape or incest has been reported at any time prior to the abortion to either a government agency legally authorized to act on reports of child abuse; or a law enforcement agency.

Whoever violates this law shall be fined under this title or imprisoned for not more than 5 years, or both. A woman upon whom an abortion in violation of this law is performed or attempted may not be prosecuted under, or for a conspiracy to violate this law.

 (Full text of H.R. 36 congress.gov)

Sponsor: Rep. Franks, Trent [R-AZ-8] (Introduced 01/03/2017)

Status: passed House /



On Passage: On passage Passed by recorded vote: 237 – 189 (Roll no. 549).

House Amendments:

Motion to recommit: On motion to recommit with instructions Failed by the Yeas and Nays: 187 – 238 (Roll no. 548)

Text of the motion:

The House proceeded with 10 minutes of debate on the Brownley (CA) motion to recommit with instructions. The instructions contained in the motion to seek the require the bill to be reported back to the House with an amendment to add the word health throughout section 3 pertaining to the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection.


On Passage:

Procedural Actions:

Senate Amendments:


Cost to the taxpayers:  Data not available

Pay-as-you-go requirements:  Data not available

Regulatory and Other Impact: Data not available

Dynamic Scoring:   Data not available

Tax Complexity:  Not applicable to this bill.

Earmark Certification:  Data not available

Duplication of programs: Data not available

Direct Rule-Making:  Data not available

Advisory Committee Statement: Data not available

Budget Authority: Data not available

Constitutional Authority:   Assumed.


More Bill Information:


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