The 20-Week Abortion Bans


In the first three weeks of January 2015, which included the 42nd anniversary of the Roe v. Wade decision, three states have already introduced 2015 legislation banning 20-week abortion. The three states are South Carolina, West Virginia and Virginia.

In South Carolina there were two bills introduced under the name of "South Carolina Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act", while the other two states each had one similarly named bill.

In West Virginia, the bill -- HB 2153 -- mirrors the one introduced by the Congress at the beginning of the year. The bill wants to ban abortions made 20 weeks after the fertilization with the only exception being the health threat for the pregnant person - no regards for rape or incest cases. These proposals rely on the idea that the fetus can feel pain from that moment on, although it has already been discredited and opposed by the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.

Apart from banning the abortions past this date, this measure would signify granting personhood to the fetus, which could lead to interdiction of emergency contraception, in vitro fertilization, and stem-cell research. Last November, Colorado and North Dakota rejected the law as they considered it dangerous due to its impact.

Guttmacher Institute has a statistic on State Policy on Later Abortions which reveals that there were already 10 states that ban 20-week abortion before the latest development at the beginning of this year.

This legislation not only attacks women's rights, but it discriminates against people with low income and impedes other healthcare services as well.

Author: Ana Budeanu