Photo credit: Getty Images

Photo credit: Getty Images

The United States is one of only a handful of developed countries in which late-term abortions after 20 weeks—five months—are allowed, according to a new report from the Charlotte Lozier Institute. At that stage, the child is capable of feeling pain and women are at increased risk for the negative effects of abortion.

The report explains:

The U.S. is among these 7 countries that permit elective abortion past 20 weeks.… These countries/territories are: Canada (no restriction in law), China (no restriction in law), Netherlands (24 weeks), North Korea (no restriction in law), Singapore (24 weeks), United States (viability), Vietnam (no restriction in law).

The United States is within the top 4% of most permissive abortion policies in the world (7 out of 198) when analyzing restrictions on elective abortion based on duration of pregnancy.… The clear norm among countries that permit elective abortion is to limit abortion to before 20 weeks gestation, and elective abortion is more commonly limited to 12 weeks (the first trimester).

In addition to being extreme among developed nations, U.S. abortion law is out of line with the views of most Americans. Two-thirds of Americans—including 60 percent of women—believe late-term abortion should generally be illegal. And 80 percent generally oppose abortions in the third trimester, when the child can live outside the womb and women are at a much greater risk for complications.

Every human being—from the moment of conception—is a person with intrinsic value who possesses the right to life. That fundamental human right doesn’t belong only to the strong and the powerful. It belongs to every human being—regardless of age, dependency, or ability.

Government has a duty to protect the weakest in society and to recognize the inherent value of all human life. A country founded to protect unalienable human rights should not deny those rights to the most vulnerable children in our society merely because they are small, dependent, disabled, or simply inconvenient.

Learn how to speak up for life through a new booklet published by Alliance Defending Freedom, Americans United for Life, Concerned Women for America, Focus on the Family, March for Life Education and Defense Fund, Susan B. Anthony List Education Fund, and The Heritage Foundation.