New Jersey's 26th Legislative District

Senator Joe Pennacchio

Senator Joe Pennacchio

Pennacchio: When Will Legislature Show Same Concern for Unborn Children It Shows for Animals?

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After another batch of bills to protect the rights of animals moved forward in the legislative process, Senator Joe Pennacchio asked when the New Jersey Legislature will do anything to protect the rights of unborn children.

Sen. Joe Pennacchio speaking at a New Jersey State House press conference on the “Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act” on December 5, 2016. (

“It’s inexplicable that the Legislature is capable of passing countless bills to protect pets and circus animals while being utterly incapable of taking action to protect unborn human life,” said Pennacchio (R-26). “It’s great that we love our pets and wildlife so much that we want to pass new laws to keep them safe and prevent suffering, but we should love people too. It’s time to pass the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act.”

Within the past week, Senate committees approved “Nosey’s Law,” which prohibits use of wild or exotic animals in traveling animal acts (S-1903), along with a prohibition against the surgical declawing of cats and other animals (S-1209).

Meanwhile, the “Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act” remains stalled more than two years after introduction. The legislation (S-537), sponsored by Pennacchio, prohibits abortions after 20 weeks.

Medical studies have shown unborn children can feel pain in the womb at least by 20 weeks, if not before.

“This double-standard in the Legislature of caring about animals more than people needs to end,” Pennacchio added. “If we believe that suffering is wrong, we should do something to prevent it, regardless of whether it’s a dog, a cat, or a human fetus.”

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