Amid concerns over the future of abortion rights, state lawmakers in New York and Virginia have debated legislation that would make it easier for women facing serious health risks or fetal complications to get an abortion in the second or third trimester of pregnancy.
Enacted in January, the New York law allows a woman to get an abortion after 24 weeks of pregnancy if her health or life is threatened or if the fetus would be unable to survive outside the womb.
Under previous state law, a woman could only get an abortion after 24 weeks if her life was at risk.
On Monday, Trump echoed critics who have falsely claimed that the bill would allow a woman going into labor to have an abortion.
Dr. Kristyn Brandi, an obstetrician-gynecologist and a board member from Physicians for Reproductive Health, told TIME last week that arguments about women getting abortions while in labor are a “gross mischaracterization” of abortion care.
Abortion rights advocates have defended the New York law as necessary for patients who previously had limited options for care if their pregnancies became complicated by health risks or serious fetal problems.
In his State of the Union address last week, Trump called for a federal ban on “the late-term abortion of children who can feel pain in the mother’s womb.”
That standard has been used in some states to ban abortion around 20 weeks into pregnancy, but scientific research has found that “fetal perception of pain is unlikely before the third trimester,” which begins around the 28th week.
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