Tag Archives: 20 week

Abortion Reporting: Missouri (2018)

Tessa Longbons  

Missouri’s abortion report for 2018 was released in December 2019, showing a significant drop in abortions from the previous year.   Changes in Missouri Abortions, 2017-2018 Information on Planned Parenthood’s Missouri market share is not publicly available.   Abortion Totals and Trends   A record low 2,910 abortions were reported as occurring in Missouri in […]

Legislative and Litigation Overview of Five-Month Abortion Laws Enacted Before or After 2010

Thomas M. Messner, J.D., Amanda Stirone Mansfield, J.D.   

The entire paper may be viewed as a pdf here: On-Point-34_Legislative-and-Litigation-Overview-of-Five-Month-Abortion-Laws-Enacted-Before-and-After-2010_Final   This paper sets out legislative and litigation information involving state laws that prohibit abortion at 20 weeks of pregnancy, roughly five months or more than halfway through pregnancy.   Summary   Since January 2010, twenty-one states have enacted statutes prohibiting abortion at 20 […]

Constitutional Law Scholar Urges Constitutionality of Five-Month Abortion Laws

Thomas M. Messner, J.D.  

Professor Randy Beck is the Justice Thomas O. Marshall Chair of Constitutional Law at the University of Georgia School of Law. He has authored a new article discussing the constitutionality of five-month abortion laws. The article is not yet published in a journal but has been posted on the Social Science Research Network (SSRN) with a date of March 2, 2015.

The article is titled “Fetal Viability and Twenty-Week Abortion Statutes.” According to the abstract, the article “advances four arguments for the constitutionality of a 20-week statute, including three based on current case law or minor modifications to current case law.”

Science Supports Pain-Capability of Unborn by 20 Weeks

Genevieve Plaster, M.A.  

The subject of fetal pain is and has been both a controversial and compelling aspect of the debate surrounding abortion. Whether a child in the womb can feel pain and at what stage raises many ethical issues and, for many, introduces another source of uncertainty into personal views on the matter of abortion. With advances in modern science and ongoing research, it is becoming more apparent that the unborn child can feel pain by 20 weeks, i.e., five months, or even earlier in the pregnancy.

This January, an extensively researched document on the science of fetal pain was published by the Family Research Council (FRC). The report cites more than 30 scientific studies, testimonies, medical evidence, and real-life experiences in its exposition of the science of fetal pain as the weeks advance post-fertilization.

Late-Term Abortion: Many-Layered Social Injustice

Charles A. “Chuck” Donovan  

The issue of late-term abortion is among the most agonizing and controversial areas within the larger, contentious debate on the morality and legality of abortion. To begin with, by the 20th week or fifth month of pregnancy, the fetus is clearly recognizable as a neonate and she is routinely described on professional medical websites in terms that stress her individuality and humanity; in addition, the methods used to terminate fetal life after five months are particularly grim and are often cited by abortion practitioners themselves in ways that indicate their ethical or aesthetic revulsion.

The Reality of Late-Term Abortion Procedures

Elizabeth Ann M. Johnson, M.D.  

Of interest to the medical, moral, sociological, and political issues surrounding late-term abortion is the question of why women seek abortion after twenty weeks gestation. Any data considered to answer this question must be examined carefully for limitations. However, a greater understanding of the reasons why women choose these late-term procedures is valuable to those who seek to offer alternative, compassionate options.

The Constitutional Viability of Five-Month Abortion Laws

Thomas M. Messner, J.D.  

Five-month abortion laws restrict abortion at 20 weeks of pregnancy—when an unborn child can feel pain from abortion. Opponents of five-month abortion laws argue they violate the “viability rule” created by the U.S. Supreme Court. The viability rule provides that government “may not prohibit any woman from making the ultimate decision to terminate her pregnancy before viability.” In most cases viability will occur after 20 weeks of pregnancy. However, the viability rule is unworkable, arbitrary, unjust, poorly reasoned, inadequate, and extreme. The viability rule cannot be justified, especially as applied to five-month laws. In a challenge to a five-month law it is reasonable to conclude that the Court might abandon the viability rule altogether or not apply it to five-month laws.

Gestational Limits on Abortion in the United States Compared to International Norms

Charlotte Lozier Institute  

This groundbreaking report finds that the United States is one of only seven countries in the world to permit elective abortion beyond 20 weeks gestation. It examines international abortion policies and finds U.S. laws to be among the most permissive in the world – allowing abortion more than halfway through pregnancy and past the point at which research shows the unborn child can feel pain.

Momentum for Late-Term Abortion Limits

Elizabeth Ann M. Johnson, M.D.  

(Click here for a chart detailing all state abortion limitations: Abortion Funding Limits)   In the last three years, an increasing number of states have debated and/or passed statutes limiting abortions beyond a certain point in pregnancy.  Most recently, Texas legislators voted to ban abortions after five months of pregnancy and to increase the health and safety […]

State Abortion Limitations

Charlotte Lozier Institute  

This chart lists each state’s abortion restriction statutes based on gestational age, whether a viability standard applies, and whether there is any pending legal action.

Arizona Fetal Pain Law Blocked

Nora Sullivan, M.P.A  

A federal appeals court has temporarily blocked the enforcement of Arizona’s House Bill 2036, which was intended to go into effect today after much contentious debate.  The new law bans abortions after 20 weeks gestation – four weeks earlier than previously permitted in the state – and it does so on the grounds that abortions done at that stage […]

Fetal Pain and a Benevolent Society

Eugene C. Tarne  

The Subcommittee on the Constitution of the U.S. House Judiciary Committee recently held a hearing on legislation that would ban abortions in the District of Columbia after 20 weeks fetal gestation, based on the ability of the fetus to experience pain at that point and beyond.