ACOG slams 20-week abortion bans, wants zero restrictions

On Thursday, South Dakota’s governor, Dennis Daugaard, signed a 20-week abortion ban into law. The Argus Leader reports:

The proposal, which passed its final hurdle in the Legislature Wednesday, would make it a Class 1 Misdemeanor for doctors to perform an abortion after 20 weeks in non-emergency situations. Violators would be subject to up to $2,000 in fines, a year in jail or both.

The bill was sponsored by Rep. Isaac Latterell, R-Tea, who said it will “protect the weakest among us.”

Bans on abortion at 20 weeks and later have gained traction with scientific advances that support the fact that preborn babies can feel pain at 20 weeks. Planned Parenthood’s former research arm, the Guttmacher Institute, reported this month that 20 states ban abortion at a defined number of weeks, including 13 which ban abortion at 20 weeks.


While these bans are gaining traction, the controversial, pro-abortion American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists argues that a preborn baby cannot feel pain until he or she is 27 weeks, in the third trimester. However, ACOG is a vocal supporter of abortion and opposes all restrictions. On Thursday, the organization released a statement entitled, “ACOG Statement on Abortion Reason Bans,” which makes the dubious claim that banning abortion for any reason hurts women. It’s as if Planned Parenthood, NARAL, and the ACOG have the same script:

Abortion is health care. It’s a medical procedure that is essential for the health and well-being of women across the country. Targeting and restricting any medical procedures in this way is simply bad medicine. Research and experience have shown that where abortion is illegal or highly restricted, women resort to desperate, dangerous means to end an unwanted pregnancies, including self-inflicted trauma, consumption of chemicals, self-medication, and even unqualified, untrained and likely unsafe abortion providers.

The ACOG does not cite any of the research allegedly showing that women will suddenly begin harming themselves if abortion is restricted. And the most-touted recent study in the U.S. on the subject was thoroughly debunked, though the media continues to report it as valid. The ACOG continues, asserting that abortion is safe simply because it is legal:

Importantly, decisions about reproductive health, including abortion care, are best made by a woman in honest, open, truthful consultation with the people she trusts, including her obstetrician-gynecologist – not a politician. Abortion is safe and legal – and it is safe because it is legal. For the sake of American women, we need to keep it that way.

This is a shocking, blanket statement that is not rooted in reality. Abortion’s legality most certainly does not automatically make it safe – not when the abortion lobby fights laws regulating the abortion industry, and not when reams of evidence have shown otherwise. Women like Jennifer Morbelli, Tonya Reaves, Christin Gilbert, Lakisha Wilson, and hundreds more, have died from legal abortion.

While the South Dakota bill does allow for post-20 week abortions in emergency cases, abortion proponents say the exceptions are too limited. For instance, if a pregnant woman threatens suicide, the abortion lobby believes abortion – not psychological treatment – is clearly the answer to her problem. The Argus Leader reports:

The bill’s definition of emergency does not cover cases in which a pregnant woman says she plans to hurt or kill herself. It also doesn’t provide an exception for pregnancies due to rape or incest.

The paper reports that “[o]f the 551 induced abortions performed in South Dakota in 2014, 26 were reported as occurring at or after 13 weeks of pregnancy.” Dr. Anthony Levatino discusses the D&E abortion technique used by abortionists in the second trimester, beginning at 13 weeks gestation:

It used to be the case that obstetricians knew that when a woman is pregnant, there are two patients. It seems the ACOG has chosen to believe otherwise.

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