Clarifying Arizona’s 20-Week Abortion Limit

I’ve seen a lot of furor online at Arizona’s proposal to ban abortions after 20 weeks – especially regarding the definition of pregnancy as starting two weeks prior to insemination, at the start date of the last menstrual period.

Yes, this legislation is absolutely infuriating and wrong-headed, but not just for the reasons you think. As explained at Feministe, doctors have always calculated gestational age using the first day of the last period. It’s weird but that’s how it’s  done. So in medical terms, the new law wouldn’t change anything in terms of how we count… but it’s still based on inaccurate assumptions about fetal pain (no scientific proof exists) and about women’s ability to, you know, make their own decisions.

Follow us on Twitter @mysexprofessor. Follow Jeana, the author of this post, @foxyfolklorist.

About Jeana


Jeana Jorgensen, PhD recently completed her doctoral degree in folklore and gender studies at Indiana University. She studies fairy tales and other narratives, dance, body art, feminist theory, digital humanities, and gender identity.