This week, the US House of Representatives is considering a bill that would ban abortion at 20 weeks - nationwide.


Here's what you need to know about 20-week abortion bans: they're simply an ideological smokescreen.


Nearly 99 percent of abortions occur before 21 weeks, but when they are needed later in pregnancy, it's often in very complex circumstances - the kind of situations where a woman and her doctor need every medical option available. The life and well-being of the mother or pregnancy is often in danger in the rare situations in which these abortion procedures occur. It should be up to a woman, her family, doctor, and her faith to help determine whether or not to end a pregnancy.  Politicians should not be a part of private medical and faith decisions. 


While a majority of abortions in the United States occur in the first trimester, it is important that a woman, her family, and her doctor have every medical option available. Laws banning abortion at 20 weeks of pregnancy would take that deeply personal decision away. Such laws may also shame and criminalize health care providers who provide care in dangerous and difficult medical situations and inform their patients of all their health care options. Legislation like  HR36, "Pain-Capable Unborn Child Act" does nothing more than tell a woman she is not capable of making health care decisions for herself.   And more than anything, 20-week abortion bans create a slippery slope toward outlawing all abortion procedures and other forms of reproductive health care.


Force. Shame. Criminalization. These don't sound like theological words, do they?


For those of us who seek justice and wholeness for all persons, it's important to remember that reproductive health care access isn't always a given for poor women, women of color, lesbians, or transgender persons.  A 20-week abortion ban creates yet another barrier to those who already face challenges accessing vital health care services. 


And as people of faith, we know that Jesus, first and foremost, put the care and healing of individuals front and center.


That's why it's important for you to share your perspective with those decision-makers in Congress. Let them know that, as a person of faith, you stand firmly against the 20-week abortion ban. Call your Representative. It takes less than 5 minutes and can help sway their vote. In fact, we'll provide a script for your convenience.


As a justice-seeking person of faith, your voice matters.





For more information, see:


Methodist Federation for Social Action 


212 East Capitol Street, NE                                    

Washington, DC 20003