Governor Rick Perry Tuesday called a new bill that would outlaw abortion after 20 weeks, a good step toward making abortion a thing of the past.
" Texas has done a great deal of work over the last several years to nurture our culture of life, and we will continue to do everything we can to protect the lives of the unborn", Perry said in a statement.
The identical bills filed by Sen. Glenn Hegar, R-Katy, and Rep. Jodie Laubenberg, R-Parker, would stop abortions when the woman is in the middle of her second trimester. Similar laws already exist in Arkansas, Alaska, Idaho, Kansas, Louisiana, Nebraska and North Carolina.
In Europe abortion bans varies, in general, between 12 to 22 weeks. The U.K, for example, allows abortion until week 24. In Germany a 1995 law makes abortion illegal, but neither doctors nor women are prosecuted if the mother is a victim of rape and the procedure is performed within 12 weeks of conception, or if the mother received counseling to encourage carrying her baby to term but still wants an abortion. Greece, in 1986, made abortion freely available during the first 12 weeks of pregnancy. In Sweden, where abortion never has been a politically controversial issue, abortion is legal within the first 18 weeks of pregnancy.
In the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision, which established the right to abortion throughout the United States, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the constitutional right to privacy extends to the decision of a woman, in consultation with her physician, to terminate a pregnancy. That right, according to the court in Roe, is not absolute and must be balanced against the state's legitimate interest in protecting both the health of the pregnant woman and the developing human life. A fetus is not viable to live outside the womb before 21 weeks, but doctors consider almost all fetus viable after 27 weeks.
Caroline is also Dallas Environmental Policy Examiner.