This isn’t good news for the pro-life movement:
The Supreme Court has rejected Arizona’s bid to put in place its ban on most abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy.
The justices on Monday declined to reconsider a lower court ruling that the law violates a woman’s constitutionally protected right to terminate a pregnancy before a fetus is able to survive outside the womb.
“Viability” of a fetus is generally considered to start at 24 weeks. Normal pregnancies run about 40 weeks.
North Dakota passed a ban on abortions after 20 weeks – which is in effect right now – and it wasn’t even challenged in court by pro-abortion activists. I wonder if that will change given this action by SCOTUS.
It seems odd to me that viability is the threshold for legal abortion, and that SCOTUS is unwilling to review it given the decades of medical advancements in the field of obstetrics. In Roe vs. Wade, SCOTUS ruled that viability “is usually placed at about seven months (28 weeks) but may occur earlier, even at 24 weeks.”
But a recent Swedish study which included over 300,000 infants found relatively high survival rates for children born before the 24-week line drawn in the sand by the federal courts. Put simply, the 24-week barrier before which abortion is a court-defined constitutional right is a legal construct based on outdated science clung to for political reasons.
As medical science advances, survival rates for children born before 24 weeks will improve. At what point will we admit that defining life as beginning at this arbitrary 24-week point is absurd?