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View Full Version : Several states forbid abortion after 20 weeks


sugarkang
06-27-2011, 10:32 AM
I didn't even know this was going on (http://www.nytimes.com/2011/06/27/us/27abortion.html?partner=rss&emc=rss). I think I've been overly dependent on BHTV to keep me apprised of current events. Or maybe it's been discussed but I missed it.

Anyway, states can ban abortion, if they choose to, starting from the 3rd trimester under Roe v. Wade. The third trimester begins at between the 24th - 28th week of pregnancy. This NYTimes article says that several states have tried to ban abortion starting from the 20th week under the theory that the fetus can feel pain as early as the 20th week.

I'd to hear all the stuff surrounding the politics and not relitigate the morality of it. Or maybe that's impossible.

stephanie
06-27-2011, 12:02 PM
Anyway, abortion is generally forbidden from the start of the 3rd trimester under Roe v. Wade.

Technically, RvW says that abortion can be prohibited in the third trimester if the states choose to prohibit it (but for certain potential exceptions). It's still up to the states to do so, and the various state laws differ. It could also be limited in the second trimester based on various undefined considerations (including health), but in practice it was understood this would be difficult to find arguments for, at least as the law existed in the '70s and '80s.

However, RvW isn't the applicable law, at least not completely. Casey v. Planned Parenthood is. And Casey focused on viability, not trimesters. That's what the current dates are about, at least in part -- whether technology has made a viability date of 20 weeks reasonable.

sugarkang
06-27-2011, 12:08 PM
Technically, RvW says that abortion can be prohibited in the third trimester if the states choose to prohibit it (but for certain potential exceptions). It's still up to the states to do so, and the various state laws differ. It could also be limited in the second trimester based on various undefined considerations (including health), but in practice it was understood this would be difficult to find arguments for, at least as the law existed in the '70s and '80s.
Totally right. Need to amend my post.


However, RvW isn't the applicable law, at least not completely. Casey v. Planned Parenthood is. And Casey focused on viability, not trimesters. That's what the current dates are about, at least in part -- whether technology has made a viability date of 20 weeks reasonable.

Roe focused on viability as well as trimesters. Casey just reaffirms it. Casey just changes the legal test for whether or not states can regulate abortions for a nonviable fetus in the 2nd trimester. These new state laws based on 20th week are unconstitutional under current law. Fetal pain, extant or not, has nothing to do with viability under Roe or Casey.