In May, the House approved a bill that would put a ban on all abortions after 20 weeks, regardless of any circumstance aside from mother’s life, that is applicable to 14 states.
The limit on abortions is becoming one issue of many in the 2016 election season. Every GOP candidate back legislation like the bill approved in may, but many Democrats are against such laws.
Higher court cases established that a woman’s right to reproductive healthcare is constitutional, so denying her right to abortion would be unconstitutional. Currently, most legislation states that women maintain the right to an abortion until the fetus is viable at around 24 weeks.
Opponents to this thought claim that because a fetus may be able to feel pain at 20 weeks, the law should apply to their standard instead. This idea is hard to uphold because many studies show that different fetuses may show increased blood flow the the head as early as 16 weeks, indicating a feeling of pain much earlier than 20 weeks.
Despite all the talk about protecting unborn babies, restrictions on abortion laws don’t do much good to prevent the types of inhumane situations many pro-life supporters claim they do. As it is, barely over 1 percent of all abortions take place after 21 weeks according to the Guttmacher Institute.
Many times, when abortion are as late or later than 20 weeks, they are performed in cases of mother or child’s health. Many ultrasounds can’t tell if a baby is developing properly in very early stages of pregnancy and brain development issues in particular can’t be assessed well enough until the fetus has grown.
Strict laws against later term abortions make it difficult for women, most of whom are facing health predicaments, to find a doctor willing to proceed with an abortion.
Aside from mother or child’s health, many mothers also may have such large difficulties paying for an abortion that they postpone their operation until they’re able to stash up enough cash.
Only 17 states currently allow Medicaid to pay for abortions under certain circumstances. Other than that, abortions must be paid for out of pocket or by private insurance. When you consider that in Colorado alone, 70 percent of abortion recipients are considered to be economically disadvantaged, it doesn’t come as a surprise that they would have difficulties funding such a procedure.
The main reason that women record as being a cause for stalling an abortion, consequently, is searching for money to receive the procedure– and the later a woman waits, the more expensive the procedure becomes.
At 12 weeks, the cost is $500, as opposed to $1000 at 16 weeks and $2000 at 20 weeks. Repeatedly, women work to save up money only to realize their goal is truly twice as far away as they had originally imagined.
While restrictive laws are being put into place to disallow for women to receive abortions after 20 weeks, not much is being done to prevent the preventable late term abortions.
It isn’t possible to do anything about severe deformities that aren’t apparent until later in pregnancy, but it is possible to help fund a program that would allow financially disadvantaged women their right to reproductive healthcare.
Many doctors have even reported saying that a bill such as the 20 week ban wouldn’t serve any justice aside from “[tying] the hands of doctors seeking to help women.” The only cause of the bill, from an obvious and proven standpoint, is to prevent women from utilizing rights that were originally in place to protect them.
To read the full letter urging presidential candidate and Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker not to sign the 20 week bill, click here.