Earlier today a N.Y. Times story reported that “after two hours of sometimes tense exchanges in one of the most significant abortion cases in years, [a majority of justices on the Supreme Court] appeared poised to uphold the [Mississippi] state law, which bans abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy.”
I’ve mentioned before that something happened inside me several months ago, back when Jett and Cait‘s daughter, the recently born Sutton, was growing inside Cait. Suddenly the idea of terminating a fetus’s life was no longer an abstraction. I was especially disturbed by the idea of terminating a fetus at 24 weeks, which suddenly seemed wrong on some primal level. The Roe v. Wade law stipulated 24 weeks because that’s the point at which fetuses become viable, yes, but why so long into the pregnancy? Why not 18 or 20 weeks?
The Mississippi law says no abortions after 15 weeks, or a couple of weeks shy of four months. Given reports that many or most women don’t even realize they’re pregnant until the fifth or sixth week, what is so difficult about deciding what to do about a pregnancy within a nine- or ten-week period?
However, the following sentence in the Times story bothered me: “Should Roe be overturned, at least 20 states will immediately or in short order make almost all abortions unlawful, forcing women who can afford it to travel long distances to obtain the procedure.” Why would these 20 states do that? Why not allow pregnant women to terminate pregnancies within the 15-week period?