Today, the House will consider a radical anti-choice bill that bans abortion after 20 weeks. The “Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act” makes it a crime—punished with a fine or prison, or both—to perform an abortion when the fetus is believed to be 20 weeks or older. However, as with so many anti-choice laws, the “Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act” is based on thoroughly discredited junk science. Writing at Quartz, Annalisa Merelli explains:
In fact, the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology (ACOG) has a position on the matter that has not changed since the publication in the journal JAMA in 2015, of a paper summarizing the known evidence on fetal pain. The paper concludes that a fetus at 20 weeks is not capable of experiencing pain: Only in the third trimester would such sensation be possible.
Our public policy needs to be secular and science-based. Unfortunately, lawmakers committed to advancing their anti-choice agenda are too often willing to resort to theology or pseudoscience to make their case. As long as they continue to do so, we will be here to call them out and fight back.