District of Columbia Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act (S. 886)
This law was last updated on Oct 17, 2018
20-Week Abortion Ban
This bill would have banned abortion at 20 weeks or more “probable post-fertilization age.” The bill would have required a physician to determine the “probable post-fertilization age” of a fetus prior to performing, or attempting to perform, an abortion.
The law would have permitted abortion if, in reasonable medical judgment, it is necessary to save the life of a pregnant woman whose life is endangered by a physical disorder, physical illness, or physical injury, including a life-endangering physical condition arising from the pregnancy, not including psychological or emotional conditions.
The law would have required that an abortion performed after 20 weeks be performed in a manner that provides the best opportunity for the “unborn child” to survive unless termination of the pregnancy in that manner would pose a greater risk of death or serious physical injury, not including psychological or emotional conditions, to the pregnant woman than another available method.
The bill specifies that an individual who performs, or attempts to perform, an abortion in violation of the provisions of this bill will be subject to a fine, a prison term of up to two years, or both.
The bill includes legislative findings based on junk science that a fetus can feel pain at 20 weeks.
Physician Reporting Requirements
Abortion providers would have been required to report to the relevant District of Columbia health agency (1) the probable post-fertilization age of the fetus, whether ultrasound was used in making the determination, the week of probable post-fertilization age that was determined; (2) the method of abortion; (3) age or approximate age of the woman; (4) medical basis for the determination that an abortion was required because pregnant woman’s life was endangered by conditions arising from the pregnancy.
By June 30 of each year, the health agency would have been required to issue a public report providing statistics compiled from all the reports made to the health agency.