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

Statement: Priests for Life supports H.R.36

H.R. 36, the Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, would bar post-20-week abortions except in cases of reported rape or incest or where a pregnancy poses a physical threat to the mother’s life. In the last Congress, the bill was numbered H.R. 1797.

A companion bill is expected to be introduced in the U.S. Senate.

The bill, sponsored by Representatives Trent Franks (AZ-8) and Marsha Blackburn (TN-7), is based on scientific research showing that unborn babies are capable of feeling pain at 20 weeks of development.

A prior version of the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act was adopted by the House of Representatives in 2014, but never received a vote in the Senate.


The latest version of H.R. 36 is available at


H.R. 36 is sponsored by Representatives Trent Franks (AZ-8) and Marsha Blackburn (TN-7). A list of co-sponsors is available at


1-6-15 H.R. 36 introduced in the House of Representatives.
1-6-15 Referred to the Committee on the Judiciary.
1-22-15 Referred to the Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on the Constitution and Civil Justice.
5-12-15 Rules Committee approves H.R. 36 for House floor consideration.
5-13-15 House voted 242-184 to pass H.R. 36. A record of the roll call vote is available at
5-14-15 H.R. 36 received in the Senate.
9-22-15 Senate voted 54-42 to invoke cloture (i.e. close debate), thus falling six votes short to bring H.R. 36 to the floor for consideration.


1-6-15 Statements of Representatives Trent Franks and Marsha Blackburn upon their introduction of H.R. 36 are available at

5-13-15 Statement by Congressman Trent Franks on the passage of H.R. 36 is available at

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