New Jersey Pain-Capable Fetus Protection Act (A 4509)
This law was last updated on Apr 22, 2016
A 4509 would prohibit performing or inducing an abortion unless the physician first makes a determination of the probable gestational age of the fetus or has reasonably relied on a determination made by another physician.
The bill would ban abortions at 20 weeks post-fertilization unless, in the physician’s reasonable medical judgment, an abortion is necessary to save the life of a pregnant women whose life is endangered by a physical disorder, physical illness, or physical injury, including a life-endangering physical condition caused by, or arising from, the
pregnancy itself, but not including a psychological or emotional condition.
The bill states that an abortion does not become necessary if the risk of death or a substantial and irreversible physical impairment of a major bodily function arises from a claim or diagnosis that the woman will engage in conduct that may result in her death or in substantial and irreversible physical impairment of a major bodily function.
The bill also states that an abortion performed after 20 weeks must be performed in a manner that provides the best opportunity for the “unborn child” to survive, unless in the physician’s reasonable medical judgment, termination of the pregnancy in that manner would pose a greater risk of death or substantial and irreversible physical impairment of a major bodily function than would another method. No such greater risk would exist if it is based on a claim or diagnosis that the woman will engage in conduct which will result in her death or in substantial and irreversible physical impairment of a bodily function.
The bill includes an exception for rape if the rape is reported to law enforcement. The bill also includes an exception for incest against a minor, if the incest is reported to law enforcement or Division of Child Protection and Permanency in the Department of Children and Families.
The bill includes legislative findings based on junk science that a fetus can feel pain at 20 weeks.
The bill states that it is modeled on H.R. 36 of the 114th Congress, and is intended to address the concern that a fetus is capable of experiencing pain by 20 weeks after fertilization, if not earlier.
A person who performs or attempts to perform an abortion in violation of this provision is guilty of a crime in the third degree.