America States With Laws Against Abortion Before 22 Weeks  

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America's view on abortion is deeply divided and abortion restrictions by state illustrate as much. While there are no places where abortion is illegal in the United States, some states do adopt stringent laws that make performing the procedure more difficult. Whether or not there should be a cut-off point for terminating a pregnancy remains a fraught, sensitive topic that has sparked both impassioned political debate and new laws. States with the strictest abortion restrictions often ban abortion before 22 weeks. 
 

Those who fall on the pro-choice side believe banning abortion this early limits a woman's right to take the time she needs to decide whether she wants to carry a pregnancy to term. However, pro-life Americans believe a fetus can feel pain later in the pregnancy, making abortion a medically unethical procedure. Regardless of your perspective, state abortion laws are important. They have a major impact on how late abortions can be performed in the United States. With an increasing number of states opting for stricter laws, the states below could change women's healthcare nationwide. 

Passed: The six week ban passed in February 2018.

Requirements: This bill bans all abortion after a fetal heartbeat can be detected. A fetal heartbeat is typically detectable at six weeks.

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Passed: The 20 week ban passed in March 2011.

Restrictions: The bill bans abortion after 20 weeks post-fertilization due to studies that indicate a fetus can feel pain at this point. The bill allows abortion after 20 weeks, but only “to prevent the death or serious risk of substantial and irreversible physical impairment of a major bodily function of the woman." The ban also includes new requirements on reporting abortions. 


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Passed: The 20 week ban passed in January 2013

Requirements: This bill bans all abortion after 20 weeks post-fertilization. However, it allows abortion if the mother is at risk of death or irreversible damage to a major organ or bodily function. It also allows abortion after 20 weeks in cases of rape or incest. 

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Passed: The 20 week ban passed in February 2012.

Requirements: This bill bans abortion after what it calls the "probable gestational age" of 20 weeks. The bill does allow abortions for medically futile pregnancies or if three physicians verify the abortion is needed to "avert the death of the pregnant woman or avert serious risk of substantial and irreversible physical impairment of a major bodily function" or "to preserve the life of the unborn child." If an abortion is performed after 20 weeks, physicians must perform the abortion in a manner that seeks to save the life of the unborn child. 


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Passed: The 20 week ban passed in January 2011.

Requirements: This bill is an omnibus abortion bill that covers funding restrictions for Planned Parenthood and overall changes to the healthcare system in regards to performing and reporting abortions. In regards to abortion, the bill bans abortion after 20 weeks post-fertilization unless “the abortion is necessary to prevent a substantial permanent impairment of the life or physical health of the pregnant woman.”


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Passed: The 20 week ban passed in January 2017.

Requirements: This bill prohibits anyone from performing or inducing abortions 20 weeks after fertilization. Abortions are only allowed in the case of a medical emergency and the bill does not include exceptions for cases of rape or incest. 


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Passed: The 20 week ban passed in May 2011.

Requirements: This bill prohibits any abortion after 20 weeks post-fertilization. However, it does allow abortions for medically futile pregnancies or to "avert the death of the pregnant woman or avert serious risk of substantial and irreversible physical impairment of a major bodily function of the pregnant woman." If an abortion is performed after 20 weeks, doctors must perform the abortion with the aim of saving the life of the unborn child. 


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Passed: The 20 week ban passed in January 2010.

Requirements: This bill prohibits abortion 20 weeks after fertilization. However, it does allow abortion to prevent the death of the mother or to "avert serious risk of substantial and irreversible physical impairment of a major bodily function." Any abortions performed after 20 weeks have to be performed with the goal of saving the life of the child. 

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Passed: The 20 week ban passed in January 2013.

Requirements: This bill prohibits all abortion 20 weeks after fertilization unless there is a medical emergency that puts the mother at risk of death or irreversible damage to a major bodily function. The bill also requires all abortion providers to keep records of post-fertilization age. 

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Passed: The 20 week ban passed in May 2015.

Requirements: This bill prohibits all abortion after the post-fertilization age of 20 weeks. However, it does allow abortion after 20 weeks if the mother is at risk of death or irreversible damage to a major bodily function. Abortion performers also have to provide medical information to the state after performing an abortion to prove they acted within state law. 

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Passed: The 20 week ban passed in February 2011.

Requirements: This bill bans all abortion after 20 weeks post-fertilization. Abortion after 20 weeks is only allowed if the mother is at risk of death or irreversible damage to a major function.  Abortion providers also have to report information regarding fetal age and the health of the mother if an abortion is performed. 

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Passed: The 20 week ban passed in December 2016.

Requirements: This bill bans all abortions after 20 weeks post-fertilization unless the mother is at risk of death or irreversible damage to a major bodily function. Abortions performed after 20 weeks must be performed with the goal of saving the life of the unborn child. Abortion providers must also report information to the State Department after performing abortions, including information about fetal age, the age of the patient, and the method used for the abortion. 

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Passed: The 20 week ban passed in January 2017.

Requirements: This bill bans all abortions after 20 weeks post-fertilization unless the mother is at risk for death or irreversible damage to a major organ or major bodily function. The bill asserts unborn babies can feel pain after 20 weeks. Abortions performed after 20 weeks must be done with the goal of saving the life of the unborn child. 

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Passed: The 20 Week Ban was passed in June 2013. 

Requirements: The bill is an omnibus bill. In addition to banning abortion after 20 weeks, it restricts access to medication abortion and outlines requirements for reporting abortions. Abortions after 20 weeks are allowed if the mother is at risk of death or irreversible damage to a major bodily function.  The bill also stipulates that a mother who undergoes an abortion after 20 weeks cannot be legally prosecuted. 


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Passed: The 20 week ban was passed in May 2015.

Requirements: This bill prohibits abortions unless the physician has first determined the likely post-fertilization age. If the post-fertilization age is 20 weeks or more, abortions are prohibited. The bill only allows abortions after 20 weeks due to medical emergencies, but these abortions must be performed with the goal of saving the life of the unborn child. 

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