Saturday, September 30, 2017

House Republicans Want To Ban Abortion After 20 Weeks

Refinery 29 (Sept. 27, 2017): House Republicans Want To Ban Abortion After 20 Weeks, by Andrea Gonzalez-Ramirez

The Republicans in the House are planning to vote next Friday (October 3rd) on the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act. This law would ban abortions after 20 weeks with certain exceptions: rape, incest, and danger to the mother's life. While 17 states have already adopted similar legislation, this law would make the 20 week ban apply nationwide. This law, if passed, would make it illegal after 20 weeks to attempt or perform an abortion, and the penalty would include fines and up to 5 years in prison. 

House Republican Kevin McCarthy, who is introducing the bill for a vote, stated that this law will, "...protect those children who science has proven can feel pain, and give them a chance to grow and live full and happy lives. We have an obligation to speak and defend for those who can’t speak for themselves." Despite McCarthy's claim, there is currently no scientific consensus supporting the idea that fetuses feel pain at 20 weeks. Most scientists believe that the pain feeling brain development occurs in the third trimester. 

While only 1.3% of abortions are performed post 20 weeks, this law would still force many women to carry unviable pregnancies to term. The bill has the support of President Trump and it is expected to pass in the House, but it is unclear whether it will have the same outcome in the Senate.  

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