Washington, DC — During a House Judiciary Committee Hearing discussing the Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Act (HR 1797) held on May 23, 2013, Rep. Trent Franks (R-AZ) courageously displayed photos released by Operation Rescue depicting one aborted baby that was apparently killed after birth at a Houston, Texas, abortion clinic operated by Douglas Karpen. The photos were provided by former clinic workers who came forward to blow the whistle on Karpen’s heinous acts.
The photos were shown in support of the legislation that would provide nationwide protection for unborn children after 20 weeks when they are known to feel pain. HR 1797 was amended from applying only to the District of Columbia to a national bill after grisly details of babies being born alive then brutally murdered came out during the murder trial of late-term abortionist Kermit Gosnell, who was convicted of three counts of first degree murder in the deaths of three newborn babies.
Rep. Franks asked Dr. Anthony Levantino, a former abortionist and one of the three pro-life witnesses who powerfully testified of the need for this legislation, to estimate the fetal age of the photo that was displayed on a large screen in the hearing room, Dr. Levantino replied that he estimated the baby to be between 24 and 28 weeks gestation, which is beyond the legal limit of up to the 24 week milestone in Texas.
“Now if a healthy baby — otherwise healthy – were born alive at that age, what would be his or her chances of long-term survival?” asked Rep. Franks.
Dr. Levantino remarked without hesitation, “The majority would survive.”
Another bombshell dropped during the hearing came from Dr. Maureen Condic, who is Associate Professor of Neurobiology and Adjunct Professor of Pediatrics at the University of Utah School of Medicine. She testified that the fetus is capable of reacting to pain as early as 8-10 weeks. This is when most abortions in America take place.
“The neural circuitry underlying the most basic response to pain is in place by eight weeks,” she testified. “This is the earliest point at which a fetus can feel pain in any capacity.”
“Her testimony completely blows the pro-abortion arguments out of the water that dispute the fact that babies can feel pain at 20 week,” said Cheryl Sullenger, Senior Policy Advisor for Operation Rescue. “These are the kinds of facts that have been kept from the American public by the pro-abortion lobby, media. We can only wonder how the public will react when they learn that ‘blob of tissue’ they have heard about is literally a tiny baby that is painfully tortured to death during even first trimester abortions.”
Also testifying was nurse and pro-life blogger and speaker Jill Stanek. She testified of her experience as a nurse holding an aborted baby that was born alive and left to die. She also noted other horrific cases of late-term abortionists known to do illegal procedures reminiscent of Gosnell’s horrific abortions. Information from Operation Rescue was cited in a footnote in her written remarks.
“We really appreciate the work of Rep. Franks and the testimony of Mrs. Stanek, who highlighted our documentation of abortion horrors, as well as the powerful testimony of the others who spoke. We constantly endeavor to get information like this into the hands of the public, and we are grateful for their help in doing so. It is hard to believe that anyone seeing those photos would not have second thoughts about abortion practices in this nation. We pray that these hearings will be the beginning of dramatic changes in the nation that will ultimately lead to an end to the barbaric act of abortion.”
Witness Written Testimony:
Dr. Anthony Levatino; Obstetrics and Gynecology, Las Cruces, NM
Dr. Maureen Condic; Department of Neurobiology and Anatomy, University of Utah, School of Medicine
Ms. Jill Stanek, RN; Mokena, IL