Monday, August 15, 2022

WHPA ensure abortion available if desired, needed

| July 31, 2022 1:00 AM

I appreciate David Chinn’s letter of July 21 in response to mine from July 17. He is right — I should not have stated “codified as a constitutional right” in the sentence about the Women’s Health Protection Act. I should have said “codified into law.” I edited the letter, but not well enough. Thanks to him for pointing that out.

As Mr. Chinn said, the term viability is fluid. In 1973, it was thought to be at about 28 weeks. Currently, it is considered to be between 22 and 24 weeks. What viability will become remains to be seen.

He also said: “The law allows abortion up to the time the baby is born, way past the point of viability.” This is true, but there is more to it than that. The WHPA would ensure that abortion is available if desired or needed up to viability. However, after viability, the text of the WHPA states that abortions would happen if, “in the good-faith medical judgment of the treating health care provider, continuation of the pregnancy would pose a risk to the pregnant patient’s life or health.” So, it would be available, but in a far more limited way that would depend on a medical professional’s judgment.  

It is good to have the opportunity to exchange views on and ideas about this vitally important issue. I remain hopeful that the WHPA will someday become law.



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