Supporters of the bill, which makes it a felony to abort a medically viable fetus 20 weeks or more into a pregnancy, call it a common-sense solution to moral issues raised by late-term abortions. But critics say it creates an arbitrary, unscientific cut-off point that further erodes abortion rights.
“We believe that when (fetuses) become viable, that they are, as all human life, valuable and need to be protected,” said Senate President Pro Tem Rob Mayer, R-Dexter, who sponsored the legislation.
Under Mayer’s bill, the definition of viability is broadened to mean a reasonable likelihood that the life of an unborn child can be sustained independently of a mother, with or without artificial support. Any woman who is more than 20 weeks pregnant requesting an abortion would be required to undergo a test to determine viability under this standard. If a doctor determines the fetus is viable, they would not be allowed to perform an abortion under penalty of a year in prison, up to $50,000 in fines and suspension of their medical license for three years.