From Politico this morning, in an article entitled, “GOP hopes it’s cracked the abortion code: Republicans unite around a push to ban the procedure after 20 weeks of pregnancy”:
… GOP leaders plan to vote on a federal 20-week abortion ban on Jan. 22. That’s the 42nd anniversary of Roe v. Wade and falls on the same day as the March for Life….
In the House, Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) opted to tie the upcoming vote to the March for Life event after meeting with leading anti-abortion groups and Republicans who have long been vocal opponents of abortion.
McCarthy met in November with a dozen conservative groups, including the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops and Susan B. Anthony List, and “reiterated his commitment to the pro-life movement and vowed to ensure that the House of Representatives would be in session and voting during the 2015 March for Life,” a GOP staffer said.
The Politico article notes, “60% of Americans support the 20-week ban, according to Quinnipiac, and Democrats are evenly divided on that specific proposal.”
So, battling a ban against abortion past 20 weeks is a loser for abortion proponents and Democrats. Even so, they’re absurdly trying, for instance, National Organization for Women President Terry O’Neill , who said, according to Politico:
“If you say ‘viability,’ that’s the time where a fetus can live independently outside of the womb. That’s 24 to 26 weeks. But most people don’t know that. So when you just say, ‘Oh, do you want to ban abortion at 20 weeks?’ People go ‘Yeah, that’s really late!’ No, it’s not. And most people don’t know that it’s not late.”
First, the American Heart Association and American Academy of Pediatrics have established viability at either 23 weeks or 400 grams (14 ounces). Politico could and should have corrected O’Neill’s obvious attempt to dehumanize 20-weekers.
Second, 5 months is “not late”? Does O’Neill really want to go there? Does she really want us to start talking about the advanced development of a 20-week-old preborn baby? I think not. Just goes to show the other side’s uphill path.
And the number of perfectly healthy babies aborted past 20 weeks amounts to over 18,000 annually, or 49 a day, counter to another of the other side’s claims that they are “rare.”
The pro-abortion American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists embarrasses itself by trying to claim, as quoted by Politico, that 20-week-old preborns do not feel pain, when even younger babies, 18-weekers, are now routinely anesthetized if undergoing surgery.
The abortion lobby is right about one thing. As Planned Parenthood indicated, a bill to ban abortion after 20 weeks is a “clear attempt to challenge Roe v. Wade.”
It does this two ways.
First, H. R. 36 redraws the line after which abortions would be restricted. At present, the line is viability, according to Roe.
Second, H. R. 36 severely narrows the broad health exception defined in Roe’s companion case, Doe v. Bolton, which was:
… in the light of all factors – physical, emotional, psychological, familial, and the woman’s age – relevant to the well-being of the patient. All these factors may relate to health.
This health exception has basically allowed abortion on demand throughout all 40 weeks of pregnancy since 1973. H. R. 36’s health exception as:
… substantial and irreversible physical impairment of a major bodily function, not including psychological or emotional conditions, of the pregnant woman.