A controversial abortion bill landed in the Senate Thursday afternoon, after passing in the House May 13. The Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act seeks to nationally prohibit abortion after 20 weeks of pregnancy, and is based on the medically disputed idea that a fetus can feel pain at this point in gestation.
The bill was dropped earlier this year in the wake of pushback from several moderate GOP lawmakers who worried that the measure was insensitive to women who had become pregnant as a result of rape. A new amendment strikes the mandate that a rape be reported to law enforcement in order for it to be treated as an exception and replaces it with a required waiting period.
Abortion-rights advocates argue that the proposed bill violates the Supreme Court's 1973 Roe v. Wade decision, which holds that women have a constitutional right to abortion up until viability, or the point at which the fetus is capable of surviving outside the womb—typically around the 22nd to 24th week.
Eleven states have already enacted so-called "fetal-pain" abortion laws similar to the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, restricting abortion at 18 or 20 weeks. Here is a breakdown of the restrictions for late-term abortion in each state and a look at how the proposed federal bill stacks up against state laws that are already in place.
This story has been updated on June 11, 2015.
This article is from the archive of our partner National Journal.
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