Georgia has banned abortion after the 20th week based on research indicating that fetuses may be able to feel pain after that time. From the Reuters story:
The abortion measure passed by the Republican-controlled Legislature in late March included exceptions to save the life of the mother and if the fetus has extreme defects that make survival unlikely. “This legislation provides humane protection to innocents capable of feeling pain, while making an important exception for in the case of medically-futile pregnancies,” Deal, a Republican, said in a statement.
Georgia Right to Life, which opposes abortion, has called the new legislation “a step in the right direction,” but expressed disappointment at the exemption for “medically futile” pregnancies in which the fetus is likely to die after birth. Abortion opponents said the exception left the door open for a doctor to recommend abortion of fetuses that are less than completely healthy.
A baby likely to die is medically futile? Baloney. I recall when friends gave birth to a child they knew wouldn’t live long after birth. Ivan lived 19 days, and he was exactly the opposite of “medically futile.” In the midst of terrible grief, he brought great love and joy to his parents, family, and friends. It was a remarkable three weeks.
Planned Parenthood is opposed, of course, claiming it interferes with medical decisions. But most abortions aren’t really medical in nature because a healthy pregnancy isn’t an illness. I think that aborting a fetus with a serious health condition isn’t purely medical either since the point isn’t to help the fetus. But much of medicine these days isn’t strictly medical. Such are the times in which we live–or at least those of us allowed to be born.