Should abortion be illegal after 20 weeks? | The Tylt
Should abortion be illegal after 20 weeks?
House Republicans recently passed a bill that would make abortion illegal after 20 weeks. Senator Lindsey Graham introduced a similar bill in the Senate, which would make it illegal "for any person to perform or attempt an abortion after 20 weeks of pregnancy" punishable with "the possibility of five years in prison, fines or both."
House majority leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) claims the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act would "protect the voiceless, the vulnerable, and the marginalized... those children who science has proven can feel pain." But in fact, the science surrounding pain felt by fetuses is dubious at best.
The general scientific consensus is that no such evidence exists. “There’s actually conclusive evidence that shows that the neurologic structures in a fetus aren’t completely laid down and working yet until much further along in pregnancy, we think even the third trimester,” said Jennifer Conti, a clinical assistant professor and OB-GYN at Stanford University and a fellow with Physicians for Reproductive Health. Twenty weeks, she said, “is just an arbitrary limit set in place by politicians that has no medical or scientific backing.”
Additional, 99 percent of abortions occur before 21 weeks, meaning those women seeking abortion later in pregnancy are often doing so if there is a serious risk to the health of the mother or the fetus.
But anti-abortion groups have applauded the bill, claiming there is "mainstream medical evidence" that unborn fetuses are capable of feeling "excruciating pain." President of the Family Research Council Tony Perkins claims the bill "conforms federal abortion law to modern science." They also argue forcing vulnerable Senate Democrats to vote on the 20-week ban bill will hurt them politically.
Susan B. Anthony List President Marjorie Dannenfelser called the October 3 U.S. House vote a “win for basic human decency.”
“It’s time for the pro-life majority in the Senate to bring up this bill and force vulnerable pro-abortion Senators up in 2018 to either stand with their pro-life constituents and vote for this bill, or stand with the extreme abortion lobby and vote in favor of late-term abortion-on-demand,” she said.