Politics & Policy

Tulsi Gabbard Introduces Bill to Block Abortion of Fetuses Capable of Feeling Pain

Rep. Tulsi Gabbard speaks during the Presidential Gun Sense Forum in Des Moines, Iowa, August 10, 2019. (Scott Morgan/Reuters)

Representative Tulsi Gabbard (D., Hawaii) introduced a bill on Wednesday that would outlaw abortions for fetuses capable of feeling pain.

The pro-life group Democrats for Life in America announced the content of the bill on Facebook and in an online petition. Formally known as the Late Term Abortion Ban Act, the bill would outlaw abortion after 20 weeks of pregnancy, unless the mother is at risk for severe health repercussions or loss of life if an abortion is not performed.

“There was a bill previously introduced entitled the Pain Capable Unborn Child Act that I felt that I needed to oppose because it did not include an exception for severe irreversible health consequences,” Gabbard said in a statement to National Review. “My legislation includes that exception.”

Last week, Gabbard also introduced legislation that aims to ensure medical care to babies born alive after an attempted abortion.

“Former Democratic Presidential Candidate Tulsi Gabbard introduced her SECOND Pro-Life bill this week, which would amend Title 18 of the U.S. code to give pain-capable fetuses rights under the law,” DFLA wrote on Facebook. “Tulsi has previously voted against this bill three times, but is now the SPONSOR of the new bill. This is proof that DFLA can convince Democrats to join the right side of history.”

Gabbard ran for president in the Democratic primary, but polled well below other candidates throughout the race. The Hawaii representative dropped out in mid-March and endorsed Joe Biden.

In October 2019, Gabbard announced that she would not run for reelection to the House in Hawaii. It is unclear what the congresswoman’s plans are for when she leaves office.

Editor’s note 12/17/20: This article has been updated with a comment from Representative Gabbard.

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Zachary Evans is a news writer for National Review Online. He is a veteran of the Israeli Defense Forces and a trained violist.


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