By U.S. Rep. Bradley Byrne
U.S. House of Representatives
A few weeks ago, I met a remarkable young boy named Micah. Micah is a five-year-old boy who seems like most any child. He is healthy, smart, and full of life. Most people are shocked when they learn that Micah was born at just 22 weeks.
When Micah was born prematurely, he was no bigger than a pack of M&Ms, but his mom said he was “alive and he was fighting and he wanted to live.” Thankfully, due to the miraculous work of doctors and answered prayers, Micah survived.
Every child deserves the chance Micah had.
Sadly, the United States is one of only seven countries in the world that allows elective abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy. This radical policy puts us among the likes of North Korea and China.
Micah’s mother likely put it best when she said that her “heart is grieved that babies are allowed to be aborted at the same age that my own son was born and even later.” It is simply heartbreaking.
Well, I recently voted to change the law and ban abortions in the United States after 20 weeks. Thankfully, the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, also known as Micah’s Law, passed the House by a vote of 237 to 189. The bill now awaits action in the Senate.
This is a commonsense, pro-life bill that simply states that abortions after 20 weeks are unlawful in the United States. The bill does include very limited exceptions in cases of rape, incest, or when the health of the mother is at risk.
To be clear, I do not support abortion at any point, but there is great significance to the 20-week timeframe.
Twenty weeks is the point at which doctors and scientists agree that babies can actually feel pain. The more premature an infant is, the worse the pain because they have yet to develop pain inhibitors.
Sadly, thousands of babies right here in the United States are killed and subjected to excruciating pain due to late-term abortions. It is simply unconscionable. That is why this legislation is so critically important.
We shouldn’t stop with Micah’s Law. As a member of the House Pro-Life Caucus, I am always looking for new opportunities to stand up for the unborn.
For example, I am a staunch supporter of the Hyde Amendment, which is a provision included in annual government funding bills to ensure no taxpayer money is used to perform an abortion. I have also supported legislation to make the Hyde Amendment permanent, so it no longer must be passed each year.
I also previously voted to eliminate funding for Planned Parenthood, an organization that promotes abortions. I support redirecting the money away from Planned Parenthood and putting it toward community health centers, which are more plentiful and provide a wider range of services. These are just a few examples.
As I cast my vote in favor of the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act a few weeks ago, Micah was on my mind. I thought about his smile and how he was full of energy. I thought about others like him who may have been given a chance at life were it not for our nation’s broken laws.
As is written in Jeremiah 1:5, “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart.” I promise to always stand up for God’s precious gift of life and to support pro-life policies throughout my time in Congress.