May 23, 2013

Chris Smith, a Republican, represents New Jersey’s 4th District in the House.

There are Kermit Gosnells all over our country today, inflicting not only violence, cruelty and death on very young children but excruciating pain as well.

Many Americans — including some who self-identify as pro-choice — were shocked and dismayed by the details that came to light in Gosnell’s recent trial. Perhaps our culture of denial and decades of deceptive marketing have made it difficult to see and understand a disturbing reality: Even after 40 years of abortion on demand — during which some 55 million babies have been killed and millions of mothers wounded — many people somehow construe abortion as victimless. With Gosnell’s exposure, that has changed.

The brutality of severing the spines of defenseless babies — euphemistically called “snipping” by Gosnell — has finally peeled away the benign facade of the billion-dollar abortion industry.

Abortionists like Gosnell decapitate, dismember and chemically poison babies to death every day. Now Americans are connecting the dots and asking whether what Gosnell did differs from what other abortion providers do. Not really. A dilation and evacuation abortion — a method, known as a D&E, that is common after 14 weeks — is a gruesome, pain-filled act that rips and tears to pieces the body parts of a child. And that is considered a safe and legal abortion.

The D.C. Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, authored by Rep. Trent Franks (R-Ariz.) and co-sponsored by several members, including myself, is a modest but necessary attempt to at least protect babies who are 20 weeks old, and capable of feeling pain, from having to suffer and die from abortion.

There is ample documentation that unborn children experience serious pain from at least the 20th week. When feeling pain, all humans go to great lengths to mitigate its severity and duration. No one wants to die a painful death. Unborn children deserve no less.