On Heels of Pro-life Controversy, Congressman to Propose ‘Life at Conception Act’

Cortney O’Brien | February 4, 2015

As the fallout from the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act still simmers in Congress, Representative Alex Mooney (R-W.Va.) is spearheading a new pro-life legislative effort. Come this Friday, Mooney will introduce the ‘Life at Conception Act,’ which would protect unborn children from their earliest stage of life.

Pro-life groups voiced their disdain for Congress earlier this month when Republican legislators refused to vote on the 20-week abortion ban, claiming it was too extreme. The bill was replaced with a more moderate one that proposed banning the use of government funds for abortion. The move was especially shocking, given that the GOP held a new majority in Congress thanks, in part, to their pledging to defend the unborn. In another bit of tragic irony, the annual March for Life was simultaneously taking place outside on the National Mall. Now, on the heels of that controversy, Rep. Mooney has decided to introduce an even bolder pro-life bill.

The ‘Life at Conception Act’ would implement protection for the right to life of each born and preborn human person, according to the bill’s text. It cites the 14th Amendment as the means for protection.

Mooney spoke with Townhall about his upcoming legislation and said the beauty of the bill is in its simplicity: 

“It’s only a 2-page bill. So, it’s not like some bills around here that are hundreds and hundreds of pages.”

He then read a significant excerpt from the bill, which guarantees every person’s right to life starting from conception:

“The terms ‘human person’ and ‘human being’ 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.” 

In other words, it is a piece of legislation that relies on straightforward science, not politics:

“You don’t have to put on a religious lens, you don’t have to put on a political lens. You can look at it simply as a biologist.”

As pro-lifers continue to criticize Congress for letting the Pain-Capable Act fall by the wayside, Mooney said it was a factor in regards to his own bill’s timing:

“Yes, it is. I want to move quickly. I want the American people and my constituents to see that many of us are fighting for the right to life issue.” 

The ‘Life at Conception Act’ was initially introduced last year by Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), who asked Mooney if he’d be interested in taking the baton this year. Based on Mooney’s pro-life resume, Jordan apparently made a wise choice. Mooney has been active in the pro-life movement since his Dartmouth College days, when he was president of his pro-life campus group. He shared how he stood in his school cafeteria and handed out materials about unborn baby development.

“I’ve always believed in defending human life. I didn’t convince everyone who walked by me in the school cafeteria that life begins at conception and abortion is wrong, but I sure got them thinking about it.”

Mooney is hoping to do the same with this pro-life legislation.

Considering the bill garnered 130 co-sponsors last year, including one pro-life Democrat, Mooney is hopeful he can find similar support this time around.

One more important note. When Roe v. Wade was passed in 1973, the judges overrode pro-life state laws and legalized abortion without determining when exactly human life began. Mooney said his bill would expose their ignorance and reverse that tragic court decision. It would give back power to the states to once again determine their own protections for the unborn.

For critics who are undoubtedly going to decry his legislation as being too extreme, Mooney has a simple answer: 

“It’s a biological fact. Conception is when life begins. Most Americans understand and agree with that.”