Representative Kimberly Yee Wants to Tell You When You Can Have An Abortion
Yee introduced a bill into the Arizona Legislature yesterday that would ban abortions of fetuses that are more than 20 weeks old.
Why 20 weeks? Well, because that's when Yee -- who is not a doctor -- says fetuses start feeling pain.
Yee's bill is similar to a bill that Congressman Franks introduced into the U.S. House of Representatives last month that would set similar restrictions for women in Washington D.C. -- because D.C.'s the only place where Franks, as a congressman from Arizona, has the authority to legislatively push his anti-abortion agenda.
No state can outlaw abortion thanks to the 1973 Roe V. Wade Supreme Court ruling, but regulating how abortions are performed is a right designated to individual states. Since D.C. isn't a state, Congress is in charge of several aspects of its government -- including abortion laws.
The National Right to Life Committee recently penned a letter to members of Congress explaining why 20 weeks should be the cutoff for abortions. See an excerpt below.
"The Supreme Court's 1973 decision in Roe v. Wade was issued during the 'Dark Ages' in terms of pre-natal medical science. In the ensuing decades, knowledge regarding the development of unborn humans, and their capacities at various stages of growth, has advanced in quantum leaps," the anti-abortion group explains in its letter. "For example, improvements in ultrasound and other imaging technologies have allowed doctors to see smaller and smaller details of the unborn child's anatomy. The first open-womb fetal surgery was performed in 1981, and such procedures are now routine at a number of facilities. During fetal surgery, physicians were able to observe unborn children reacting to painful stimuli, and this was one major factor that led to the current recommended practice of administering anaesthesia to the unborn child at around 20 weeks."
Currently, women in Arizona can have an abortion up to the point when a fetus would be able to survive outside of the womb, which is usually about 23 or 24 weeks.
Several other states, like Nebraska, have passed similar legislation.
See Yee's bill here.