The Corner

An Unobjectionable Reporting Requirement

The proposed Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act would impose its restrictions only when the abortionist determines that the “probable post-fertilization age . . . of the unborn child is 20 weeks or greater.” So a victim of rape would already have had months to obtain an abortion of a pregnancy resulting from a rape. It’s therefore unclear why anyone would think that any rape exception is warranted under the legislation.

That said, if there is going to be a rape exception, I don’t see how anyone could find the reporting requirement in the bill too stringent. The bill does not require the victim of a rape to have reported the rape within X days of the rape. All it requires is that she report it “at any time prior to the abortion to an appropriate law enforcement agency.” So a rape victim who, for whatever reason, waits until after 20 weeks to obtain an abortion could simply report the rape at that point and then obtain the abortion. (Don’t we want rapes to be reported?) No wonder that, as John McCormack reports, opponents of the bill have not previously objected to the reporting requirement.

The elimination of the reporting requirement would eviscerate the bar after 20 weeks. If it’s enough for a woman (or girl) seeking an abortion to tell the abortionist that she’s been raped, that’s quite an incentive to lie. Tell the abortionist you’ve been raped, and, with no further questions, you get the abortion you’re seeking. Don’t make the claim, and you don’t. (No, I’m not at all contending that women tend to lie about rape; I’m relying on the elementary reality that anyone will be tempted to lie about anything if the perceived reward for lying is very attractive.)