Rumor vs Reality

Published September 10, 2020

A near-birth fetus or living newborn is protected under the law in all 50 states.

“Abortion later in pregnancy” is the correct medical term for abortions occurring after 21 weeks of pregnancy. They are rare – accounting for only 1% of all abortions. Legal restrictions tend to focus on “viability” — which can vary widely depending on a complex array of issues —  and the myth that a fetus can feel pain at 21 weeks. Research shows that a sense of pain comes much later – closer to 30 weeks. In most cases, dire medical situations drive a decision to terminate a more advanced pregnancy. This complexity leads a majority of people, including fetal medicine doctors, to feel that the government should not interfere with these complex, painful medical and moral decisions.


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