Rep. Tonko Won’t Say If 20-Week-Old Unborn Child Is 'Human Being'

Brittany M. Hughes | January 20, 2015 | 9:26pm EST
Font Size

( -- Rep. Paul Tonko (D-N.Y.) would not say whether an unborn child 20 weeks into pregnancy is a human being and instead said that he wanted to see how a 5-month old baby in the womb is defined by legislation offered in Congress.

Rep. Paul Tonko (D-N.Y.) (AP)

On Capitol Hill on Tuesday, asked Tonko, “Is an unborn child a human being 20 weeks into a pregnancy?”

“I just want to see how it’s defined in the bill,” Tonko said, referring to the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act,  which likely will come up for a vote in the House this week.

Tonko then excused himself to attend other business before stepping into an elevator.

Sponsored by Rep. Trent Franks (R-Ariz.), the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act would ban abortions after 20 weeks in all 50 states in cases other than incest involving a minor, rape or when the life of the mother is physically in danger.

If the bill is signed into law, abortionists who perform an abortion on a woman after 20 weeks could face a fine and up to five years in prison.

(Pregnant woman. (AP Photo)

The White House issued a statement on Tuesday saying President Barack Obama would most likely veto the bill if it passes both the House and the Senate, which are both controlled by Republicans.

“If the President were presented with this legislation, his senior advisors would recommend that he veto this bill,” the White House said in the statement.

“The Administration strongly opposes H.R. 36, which would unacceptably restrict women's health and reproductive rights and is an assault on a woman's right to choose,” the statement added. “Women should be able to make their own choices about their bodies and their health care, and Government should not inject itself into decisions best made between a woman and her doctor.”

The White House also accuses the bill of being “scientifically disputed” and a violation of the Constitution.

mrc merch