(1st Add: Includes comments from Family Research Council President Tony Perkins.)
(CNSNews.com) - Two Republicans, one from the Senate and one from the House, are introducing what they call a "major new piece of pro-life legislation."
Sen. Sam Brownback (R-Kan.) and Rep. Chris Smith (R-N.J.) were holding a press conference Thursday morning to discuss the Unborn Child Pain Awareness Act.
The legislation would require abortionists ending pregnancies beyond the 20th week to inform the mother about the pain the unborn baby would feel during the abortion - and to give the mother the option of having pain-killers administered directly to the unborn baby.
According to the National Right to Life Committee (one of the bill's main supporters), a Zogby poll conducted in April found that 77 percent of Americans support "laws requiring that women who are 20 weeks or more along in their pregnancy be given information about fetal pain before having an abortion."
"We cannot deny the medical evidence now before us," said Family Research Council President Tony Perkins in a statement Thursday. "From testimony taken during the recent partial-birth abortion hearings and advancements in the field of utero technology, science is telling us unborn children as young as 20 weeks old can feel pain.
"The evidence we have is clear, and we should not keep that evidence from women," Perkins said. "I'm sure pro-abortion proponents will come out in strong opposition to this bill, which will go a long way in exposing their hypocrisy on the issue of women's rights.
"Women have the right to know what happens when they have an abortion and they have a right to know the pain their unborn child will experience when it is being aborted. Anyone who would deny a woman such information is hardly a defender of women's rights," he said.
"This legislation does nothing to infringe on so-called 'abortion rights,' it would simply require abortion providers to tell women seeking an abortion about the medical evidence on pain experienced by unborn children during an abortion," Perkins said.
"This legislation falls in the 'right to know' category. Those who oppose this legislation show that their true allegiance is to the 'abortion on demand' agenda - not women," he concluded.
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