Newsletter Highlights

It’s Not Just the Number of Weeks

The American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology (ACOG) elucidates the importance of avoiding legislation or regulations that affect decisions about viability. They note that there is no single definition of “viability,” but it often refers to two circumstances:

1) whether a pregnancy is expected to continue to develop normally, and

2) whether a fetus might survive outside the uterus.

“Rates of neonatal survival to discharge at this time range dramatically from 23% to 27% for births at 23 weeks, 42% to 59% for births at 24 weeks, and 67% to 76% for births at 25 weeks of gestation…. Deliveries before 23 weeks have a 5–6% survival rate and that significant morbidity is universal (98–100%) among the rare survivors.”

“Fetal viability depends on many complex factors, of which gestational age is only one…

Legislative bans on abortion care often overlook unique patient needs, medical evidence, individual facts in a given case, and the inherent uncertainty of outcomes in favor of defining viability solely by gestational ages. Therefore, ACOG strongly opposes policy makers defining viability or using viability as a basis to limit access to evidence-based care.”

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