Pro-life members of the House offered clear, medically sound insights into why elective abortions should be ended after a pre-born baby reaches 20 weeks.

Jim Banks is a U.S. Representative and an alumnus of Family Policy Foundation’s Statesmen Academy. He has advocated for such protections his entire career, voting for it as a state lawmaker in Indiana and now as a Congressman.

In a speech on the House floor on Oct. 2, he said the legislation is projected to save between 12,000 and 18,000 lives each year.

“Ten years ago, studies began to emerge proving that an unborn child is able to feel pain as early as 20 weeks post-fertilization,” Banks explained to his House colleagues. “Let’s ensure that all 50 states have protections for vulnerable pain-capable children.”

Today I spoke in support of the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, which the House is scheduled to vote on tomorrow.

Posted by Congressman Jim Banks on Monday, October 2, 2017

The bill easily passed the House, but now a more difficult fight begins. Sen. Lindsey Graham introduced the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act in the Senate on Oct. 5. The bill failed to garner enough support in that chamber twice before in the face of a veto threat by then-President Obama.

But if it passes this time, President Trump has pledged to sign it into law.

Your Senators need to hear from you right away. Urge them to vote for this vital bill to protect innocent lives.

Urge your U.S. Senators to support and vote for the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act.

Congressman Jim Banks of Indiana spoke on the House floor May 4th on the need to reform the Johnson Amendment, which limits the ability of faith-based non-profits and churches to engage in free speech and exercise religious freedom.

Banks is a 2016 graduate of Family Policy Foundation’s Statesmen Academy. The program provides rigorous training by experienced Christian legislative leaders, who produce graduates bonded in an enduring fellowship of mutual encouragement and accountability, spiritual strength and political wisdom.

We are so proud of Congressman Banks and the work he’s doing in Washington!

Here is the full text of his speech:

“Mr. Speaker, in light of this morning’s long-overdue Executive Order on religious freedom and free speech, I rise today to thank my colleagues in Congress on their support for a thorough reform of the Johnson Amendment, which has hindered the ability of faith-based non-profits and churches from engaging in free speech and exercising freedom of religion.

Since 1954, the Johnson Amendment has given the IRS the broad authority to censor the free speech of pastors, churches and other tax exempt organizations across America.

The IRS’ vague interpretation of prohibited forms of speech under this law has led to uncertainty about what speech constitutes a formal violation.

Furthermore, when the Johnson Amendment was originally adopted, it was passed without debate, committee hearings, or any of the other procedures we use in Congress today.

We need to allow America’s churches, pastors, and other faith leaders to speak freely on all spheres of life, including relevant political candidates and elections.

We need to return free speech back to our spiritual leaders and faith-based organizations without fear of government censorship.

Thank you, Mr. President, for acting to ensure that America’s churches will again be a safe place to discuss all important matters in life. While today’s action is a strong start, there is more work to be done to protect religious freedom in the United States.”

Last July, Jim Banks attended Family Policy Foundation’s first Statesmen Academy as a state senator from Indiana. And a few weeks ago, as a freshman congressman, he took the speaker’s chair to preside over the U.S. House of Representatives.

Congressman Banks is one of several Statesmen attendees who are already stepping up to defend the family at new levels of leadership, thanks to the training they received through your generous support of Family Policy Foundation.

One of his 2016 classmates, Rep. Dean Arp from North Carolina, decided as a result of attending the Academy to run for Majority Whip in his state legislature. After winning that leadership race, he played a key role in stopping efforts to repeal North Carolina’s new law that protects the safety and privacy of women and girls in vulnerable places like bathrooms.

In Colorado, fellow 2016 Statesmen alum Rep. Patrick Neville was hesitant to run for a leadership position because of his young family. But his wife, who attended the Statesmen Academy with him, came away emboldened by the training and encouraged him to run. He’s now serving as Minority Leader of the Colorado House.

Meanwhile, Jim Banks calls the Statesmen Academy “outstanding” and encourages other rising legislators – and those called to run for office in the future – to attend. “I will be one of your best ambassadors for [your future] events.” Because of sacrificial gifts from you and other pro-family Americans, the next Statesmen Academy will be held the last week of July – training 40 rising leaders how to stand strong and lead effectively.

U.S. Representative Jim Banks of Indiana spoke on the floor of the House recently congratulating fellow members on the passage of the “No Taxpayer Funding of Abortion” act. He also encouraged Congress to continue to press for more laws that protect preborn babies and their mothers.

Banks was a 2016 graduate of the Statesmen Academy. The program, founded by Family Policy Foundation, trains young legislators or those interested in running for office how to maintain their faith after being elected.