To discuss a bill working its way through Congress that would ban abortion after 20 weeks in defiance of Roe v. Wade, a congressional hearing was held this past Wednesday. Nine House Republicans and two non-members of Congress held the meeting to talk about a woman who ended her pregnancy at 22 weeks after an MRI revealed that her child was missing a large part of his brain and that his chance of survival was slim. However, Congressman Louis Gohmert (R-Texas) told her that she should have carried the child to term anyway.
Christy Zink was around 21 weeks pregnant when a test revealed that her child had no brain activity. Abnormalities in a fetus are usually detected later in term, not earlier, and for this reason Zink believes that the bill should be revised to consider women who discover later in their pregnancy that their child has a medical issue. The bill as it currently stands was established when scientists determined that a fetus becomes susceptible to feeling pain after 20 weeks. However, Gohmert's belief that all women should have a child regardless of medical abnormalities is based on ethics, not science.
Due to a personal experience with a couple he knew, Gohmert believes that every child should be given a chance at life. In the congressional hearing, he shared an intimate story about a couple who had a child born prematurely. Through human interaction and over time the child grew more responsive and got better. Gohmert gave Zink his sincerest sympathy and empathy, but he suggested that perhaps waiting and observing the levels of progress the child could potentially make would be a more humane decision.
The 20-week limit on abortions was already permanently struck down within the state of Arizona by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals earlier this week. This law was deemed unconstitutional for violating a woman's right to end a pregnancy before the fetus was viable to live outside the mother's womb.