The House of Representatives approved a bill Oct. 3 banning abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy with the exception of incest, rape, or dangers to the health of the mother. The bill still requires Senate approval before becoming a law. The Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act has already been proposed twice before in 2013 and 2015.
Although I disagree with some pro-choice beliefs, this new bill is a step in the right direction and could offer a feasible solution that incorporates ideas from both sides.
The 20-week deadline was chosen because according to proponents of the bill after 20 weeks fetuses are developed enough to feel pain. According to the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, the brain structures required to feel pain aren’t developed until 24 weeks, but it is difficult to determine exactly when fetal pain occurs because there is not a reliable way to measure this.
In 2016, Utah passed a law that requires anesthesia for women receiving abortions after 20 weeks to eliminate pain that it may cause to the unborn child.
The bill still allows any woman to get an abortion as long as it is performed less than 20 weeks after conceiving.
An abortion is a quick 10 minute in-clinic process, according to Planned Parenthood. Although, some doctors may require women to wait up to six weeks after conceiving to get an abortion. If a recipient goes to a doctor who does require this waiting period, women would still have plenty of time to choose to have an abortion.
There are opponents to the bill from both political parties. Some argue that if the government expects women to have their babies, they should also be providing affordable contraceptives and aid to children born to less fortunate families.
This would be a relevant worry if abortion was being banned all together. But that’s not the case. Women are still being given the choice of whether or not an abortion is something that is best for their situation.
Under the Affordable Care Act passed by the Obama administration, a female employee’s health care was required to cover contraceptives. Religious institutions had the ability to opt out of this factor because of religious beliefs.
Now, under the Trump administration, any employer has the ability to opt out for moral or religious beliefs. This allows employers to choose what is best for their employees and their business, instead of being told they must provide something they do not believe in. Although for some this may be a step backwards, it is a step forwards for those of us who tend to lean more conservative.
It is important to remember that no matter what the issue, there will never be a way to make everybody happy. For some, this bill nor the amending of the Affordable Care Act are strict enough because of moral or religious beliefs. But this bill could be an opportunity for compromise on an important ongoing issues in politics.