Congresswoman Martha Roby

Representing the 2nd District of Alabama

Roby Rallies House to Pass Landmark Pro-Life Bill

October 4, 2017
Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Representative Martha Roby (R-Ala.) co-sponsored legislation that passed the House Tuesday to restrict abortions after six months of pregnancy.

H.R. 36, the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, would prohibit abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy with exceptions for cases of rape, incest, or when the life of the mother is at risk.

Roby spoke out on the House floor and urged her colleagues to support the bill to “grant greater protections for life under the law.”

I’ve listened to my colleagues on the other side call this bill extreme. I say to oppose this bill is extreme,” Roby said. “If we won’t stop abortions at six months of pregnancy when a baby feels pain, when will we stop them? We have to draw the line somewhere.”

Roby shared the story of Micah Pickering, who was born at just 22 weeks gestation and is now a healthy kindergartener.

“You see, children like Micah who are born prematurely are treated as patients. Special care is given to reduce their pain and increase their chances for survival – just as it should be. So, Madame Speaker, my question to those who would oppose this bill is this: What’s the difference between a baby at six months outside the womb and a baby at six months inside the womb? How can one be treated like the miracle they are created to be, and the other be treated like medical waste?”

H.R. 36 passed by a vote of 237-189 and now goes to the Senate where it awaits further consideration. Earlier today the White House issued a statement of support indicating that President Trump would sign this bill into law.

The full text of Rep. Roby’s remarks as prepared is below.

Thank you, Madame Speaker. I’m grateful for the opportunity to share my strong support for the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, or Micah’s Law.

My colleagues who oppose this bill adamantly defend a mother’s ability to have a late term abortion and a doctor’s ability to perform it. But Madame Speaker, I’ve heard no mention of the third person in the room: the unborn baby.

I am astounded that the opposition chooses to focus solely on the two individuals who can speak for themselves with no mention of the one who cannot.

That’s exactly what we are here to do today. We are here to speak up for those who can’t speak for themselves. We are here to defend those who cannot defend themselves.

Our bill seeks to do this by restricting abortions after 20 weeks, or at the sixth month of pregnancy – the point at which research increasingly shows that unborn babies can feel pain.

Last week I had the opportunity to meet the little boy this bill is named for, Micah Pickering. As many of you know, he was born at 22 weeks gestation and spent four long months in intensive care.

Micah survived, and this year he’s in kindergarten.

You see, children like Micah who are born prematurely are treated as patients. Special care is given to reduce their pain and increase their chances for survival – just as it should be.

So, Madame Speaker, my question to those who would oppose this bill is this: What’s the difference between a baby at six months outside the womb and a baby at six months inside the womb? How can one be treated like the miracle they are created to be, and the other be treated like medical waste?

If a baby, like Micah, can survive outside the womb given the appropriate care, shouldn’t we give other babies like him the same protection and chance to live?

I’ve listened to my colleagues on the other side call this bill extreme. I say to oppose this bill is extreme! If we won’t stop abortions at six months of pregnancy when a baby feels pain, when will we stop them?

We have to draw the line somewhere. To say aborting a little baby who can actually feel the pain of the procedure being forced upon them crosses the line is a gross understatement.

Madame Speaker, I’m unapologetically pro-life, and I oppose abortion at any stage. I will always fight to grant greater protections for life under the law.

But as a society, I pray that we will start assigning greater value to life at all stages in this country.

Madame Speaker, so often we get caught up in the politics of this issue and we forget that these are babies, for goodness sake. They feel pain. And we need to protect them.

That is why I urge my colleagues to oppose this Motion to Recommit and join me in supporting the underlying bill.

Thank you. I yield back.

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