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Senator Joe Pennacchio Senator Joe Pennacchio (R-26)
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Contact: Senate Republicans / (609) 847-3600
January 26, 2017
Pennacchio: Legislature Must Protect Unborn Children Just as Much as Animals

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In light of the Assembly passage of a bill banning the declawing of cats, Senator Joe Pennacchio expressed his outrage that the legislature seems to care more about preventing animal cruelty than protecting innocent unborn children from the excruciating pain caused by abortion.

Sen. Joe Pennacchio speaking at a New Jersey State House press conference on S-2026 on December 5, 2016. (

“When did animals become more important than unborn children?” Senator Pennacchio opined. “This legislature takes pride and advocates for animals and their rights. It has shown to be a good steward in their protection, yet it gives no credence or moral thought to the pain experienced to a child as it is forcibly removed from its mother’s womb. The Legislature must do what is right and protect these babies with the same veracity that we defend animals.”

Senator Pennacchio (R-Essex, Morris, Passaic) is the sponsor of the NJ Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, which would prohibit abortion after 20 weeks gestation. S-2026 includes exceptions for rape, incest and when the life of the mother is at risk. Medical studies have shown unborn children can feel pain in the womb at least by 20 weeks, if not before.

“As someone who sat in the NJ courtrooms during the NJ Partial Birth Abortion trial, the two administrative law proceedings against NJ Steven Brigham, and the Philadelphia Kermit Gosnell trial, I heard first-hand testimony from the abortionists themselves the gruesome and barbaric methods used to kill babies,” Marie Tasy, Executive Director of New Jersey Right to Life said. “In listening to the testimony and their descriptions, it was very clear that these babies felt excruciating pain during these truly horrific acts which violently and cruelly took their lives and shattered their dignity.”

“We have a sacred responsibility as legislators to protect our most vulnerable residents from harm,” Senator Pennacchio added. “We are certainly not upholding that responsibility if we are passing a ban on declawing cats before S-2026 is even granted a committee hearing. Innocent lives are at risk. I implore my colleagues in the legislature to act with compassion by advancing my bill as soon as possible.”

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