FACT CHECK: Is The US 1 Of 7 Countries That Allow Elective Abortion Past 20 Weeks?

Holmes Lybrand | Fact Check Editor at The Daily Caller News Foundation

The Heritage Foundation claimed the U.S. is one of seven countries that allow abortion for any reason past 20 weeks in a statement Tuesday.

Verdict: True

An in-depth analysis from the pro-life Charlotte Lozier Institute confirms Heritage’s claim.

Fact Check:

Lozier analyzed 198 countries, states and semi-autonomous regions with populations of more than 1 million, to find out how limits on abortion vary compared to the United States. The institute found the U.S. is one of only seven countries that allow abortion for any reason, or “elective” abortions, after 20 weeks.

The other six countries include:

  •  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)

Countries commonly limit abortion that is not deemed medically necessary to the first trimester, or 12 weeks, the study found, noting: “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.”

Other countries may allow abortions past 20 weeks, but restrict them to cases in which it is deemed medically necessary according to their legal definition, which can be quite relative.

This claim comes on the cusp of the House vote on the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, a bill that focuses on making most elective abortions at or past 20 weeks illegal.

The bill allows for some exceptions, including if the mother’s life is at risk and if the pregnancy is “the result of a rape or incest.” It was previously passed in the House but did not pass the Senate due to a filibuster by Democrat Senators.

The claim that the U.S. is one of the seven countries that permit elective abortions at 20 weeks is true.

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Holmes Lybrand

Fact Check Editor at The Daily Caller News Foundation