Micah Pickering was born prematurely at 20 weeks. His eyes were “fused shut,” according to his mother, and his bones were still soft. He spent four months in the neonatal intensive care unit.
Yet Micah survived against the odds, and is today a healthy 5 year-old attending Kindergarten.
“When I look at a little baby, a 20-week baby, my heart is full. I’ve been that mom standing there begging God and doctors to let this precious baby live,” his mother Danielle said on Tuesday.
“I’ve been that mom who would do anything to see that child take their first steps and say their first words, and to start school.”
Danielle Pickering spoke at a press conference on Tuesday at the U.S. Capitol, announcing that the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act will be voted on by the U.S. House on Oct. 3.
The bill, which has passed the House in previous sessions but has not passed the Senate, would ban abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy except in cases of rape, incest, or when the life of the mother is deemed to be at stake.
Jeanne Mancini, president of March for Life, said the group “welcomes the announcement.”
“This bill would not only save 20,000 lives every year, but would educate the public on the humanity of the unborn person and affirm the science of fetal pain early in development,” she said.
Studies are showing that unborn children as early as 20 weeks old can feel pain, and that a small percentage, with the right treatment, can survive outside the womb. These signs of viability, pro-life leaders say, demand that at least the rights of these babies must be taken into account in the abortion debate.
The bill is expected to pass the House, which has in recent years already passed several significant pro-life bills including the defunding of Planned Parenthood and a bill that would set up additional protections against taxpayer funding of abortions.
President Donald Trump promised on the campaign trail to sign a Pain-Capable bill if one came to his desk, but the Senate has remained the chamber where the pro-life bills languish. Far fewer than 60 senators – enough votes to bring a bill to the floor for a vote – have consistent pro-life voting records.
This means that the 2018 mid-term elections could be critical, said Susan B. Anthony List president Marjorie Dannenfelser.
“We are preparing for 2018 Senate elections,” Dannenfelser told CNA on Tuesday. “If we come up short, which is likely, short of a Micah miracle, what we’re doing is we’re building that Senate up to a 60-vote margin.”
Full story at Catholic News Agency.