New Jersey bill seeks to ban abortion after 20 weeks

TRENTON, NJ – A bill has been sponsored by New Jersey Republicans seeking to ban the abortion of fetuses after 20 weeks of pregnancy.

Dubbed the “Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act”, the bill will seek to ban abortion 20 weeks or more after fertilization.

This bill, designated as the “Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act,” provides that an abortion is not to be performed or attempted if the probable post-fertilization age of the unborn child is 20 weeks or greater, with certain exceptions noted below. 

Under the bill, it will be unlawful for a person to perform an abortion or attempt to do so, unless the person is a physician who has first made a determination of the probable post-fertilization age of the unborn child or has reasonably relied upon this determination made by another physician. 

 The bill provides an exception to the above provisions if: (1) the abortion is necessary to save the life of a pregnant women whose life is endangered by a physical disorder, illness, or injury, including a life-endangering physical condition caused by, or arising from, the pregnancy itself; (2) the pregnancy is the result of rape, if reported to a law enforcement agency prior to the abortion; or (3) the pregnancy is the result of rape or incest against a minor, if reported to a law enforcement agency or to the Division of Child Protection and Permanency (DCPP) in the Department of Children and Families prior to the abortion.  In terminating or attempting to terminate a pregnancy under these circumstances, the physician may do so only in a manner which, in reasonable medical judgment, provides the best opportunity for the unborn child to survive, unless the termination of the pregnancy in that manner would pose a greater risk of death of the pregnant woman or substantial and irreversible physical impairment of a major bodily function.

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