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New bill guarantees constitutional 'right to life' protections for the unborn

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Freshman Rep. Alex Mooney (R-W.Va.) on Monday proposed a bill with dozens of other House members to ensure the Constitution's "right to life" is applied to the unborn.

"I have always believed the greatest duty of society is to protect the most defenseless among us," Mooney said Tuesday. "There are thousands of unborn babies who need us to fight tirelessly on the issue of human life."

A demonstrator at last month's March for Life rally in Washington DC. Dozens of House members have a new bill that would guarantee constitutional protections for the unborn. Image: Alex Wong/Getty Images

"A human life is a precious thing and anything I can do to fight for the most vulnerable among us, I will," he added.

Mooney's Life At Conception Act is based on the 14th Amendment to the Constitution, which says among other things that the government cannot "make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States." It also says no government can "deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law," and ensures "equal protection of the laws."

Congress has the power to enforce the 14th Amendment, and Mooney said his bill is justified by that language.

"To implement equal protection for the right to life of each born and preborn human person… the Congress hereby declares that the right to life guaranteed by the Constitution is vested in each human being," the bill states.

The bill defines "human being" and "human person" to include "each and every member of the species homo sapiens at all stages of life, including the moment of fertilization, cloning, or other moment at which an individual member of the human species comes into being."

Mooney's legislation has 53 cosponsors, all Republicans with the exception of Rep. Collin Peterson (D-Minn.). His bill is the latest version of a proposal that was last introduced by Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) — in the last Congress, Jordan's bill ended with 130 cosponsors.

Despite that strong showing of initial support, GOP leaders last month had difficulty getting support for a bill to ban abortion after 20 weeks of pregnancy. Several Republican women opposed language requiring women to report rape or incest before having the option of abortion for those reasons.

Read Mooney's legislation here:

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