El Pasoans react after U.S. House passes abortion ban after 20 weeks into pregnancy

Thursday, June 20, 2013 - 7:42am

The Republican-led U.S. House of Representatives passed an anti-abortion bill this week. The bill restricts abortion to the first 20 weeks of pregnancy.

"I'm not for any abortions,” said expecting mother Claudia Rodriguez. "I don't think it's good to kill like a baby cause it alive."

Rodriguez was preparing for the arrival of twins in August.

She's against abortions entirely so she thinks the bill passed by the House that bans abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy is a step in the right direction and the ban should be earlier in a pregnancy.

"I think an abortion shouldn't be accepted right but yeah of course after 20 weeks, the baby is already formed, it has a heart and everything," said Rodriguez.

We asked Dr. Julio Novoa with First Choice OB/GYN Associates what stage is a fetus at 20 weeks.

"If you look at a pregnancy of 20 weeks, it does look like a human being," said Novoa.

At 20 weeks, you can determine the gender of the baby and he or she weighs more than 10 ounces.

But Novoa said in an emergency, a baby would not survive.

"Twenty weeks is impossible. We cannot save a baby at 20 weeks," said Novoa.

Novoa said more work needs to be done before a bill like this is legalized.

"There can't be absolutes and I believe that's what happening when you try to form a bill that has an absolute date," said Novoa.

The bill makes exceptions in cases of rape and incest if the woman reports the crime to authorities.

However, it will most likely die in the Democratic-led Senate and the White House has issued a veto threat.

Meanwhile, on the same day, the Texas Senate abandoned an effort to ban the procedure after 20 weeks into pregnancy. It did vote to place new restrictions on abortions that some say could shut down 90 percent of abortion clinics in the state. The bill still needs a final Senate vote to send the bill to the House.

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