Abortion Limitations Definitions

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Definitions of the major types of abortion restrictions, listed from most common to least common:

  • Gestational Limits: Pertains to the abortion ban after a certain point in woman’s pregnancy, usually at fetal viability.
  • Parental Involvement: Includes terminology involving parental notification (i.e. information only) and parental consent (permission given by parent).
  • Fetal Homicide: Allows prosecutors to file twin homicide charges involving victimization of both the mother and her unborn child.
  • Public Funding: Bans use of state and federal funds (Medicaid) for abortion except in cases involving rape or incest or endangerment of the mother’s life.
  • Partial-Birth Abortion: Prohibits late-term abortion procedure involving the feet-first delivery of all but the child’s head in order for the physician to puncture the base of the skull and extract the brain matter which allows the baby’s head to shrink, completing the delivery of a dead child.
  • Informed Consent: Requires a woman to be informed before an abortion about the nature of the procedure and its risks, the gestational age of the unborn child, and the availability of alternatives to abortion. Also known as a “woman’s right to know.”
  • Waiting Period: Requires a mother to wait a specific period of time, typically 24 hours, between receiving information from an abortion clinic and proceeding with the abortion.
  • Abortion Clinic Regulations: Requires minimum standards involving health, safety, and sanitation of facility.
  • Fetal Pain: Requires disclosure that the unborn child may feel pain (at 20 weeks); can include offers of anesthesia to alleviate pain during an abortion
  • Trigger Ban: Immediately issues state ban on abortion in most cases upon the reversal of the 1973 U.S. Supreme Court decision in Roe v. Wade


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