Daines joins GOP senators in pushing to ban abortions after 20 weeks

Sen. Steve Daines

U.S. Sen. Steve Daines on Thursday joined a panel of senators in cosponsoring legislation to prevent abortions beyond 20 weeks, revisiting a bill he initially joined in 2015.

Daines joined 44 other senators in cosponsoring what’s been dubbed the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act. The legislation would prevent late-term abortion nationwide beyond 20 weeks.

Daines said that’s more than halfway through a pregnancy when an unborn child can feel pain.

“The Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act is an important measure to do exactly that: protect unborn children who can feel pain,” Daines said. “Only seven countries in the world allow babies 20 weeks or older to be aborted and the United States is one of them, along with North Korea and China.”

The companion legislation passed the House this week on a 237-189 vote.

Daines pointed to a Montana poll conducted last year that found 63 percent of voters support banning abortions after five months of pregnancy. Of those, 36 percent supported it strongly and 27 percent supported it somewhat.

Of the 27 percent who opposed the measure, 5 percent opposed it somewhat while 22 percent strongly opposed it.

Daines cosponsored similar legislation in 2015, when he suggested that babies can feel pain after 20 weeks of pregnancy.

“Anesthesiologists protect these children from pain of surgery in the womb, and today these premature babies have a one in four chance of living a full and complete life,” Daines said. “This is a bill that a majority of the American people are behind, protecting babies after 20 weeks when they feel pain.”