The Alabama Republican-controlled House passed the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act late last week that would ban abortions after 20 weeks. The bill, sponsored by Representative Kerry Rich (R-AL) passed by a vote of 69-19, which was largely along party lines. The bill will now goes to the state Senate for a vote.
Representative Rich stated that he chose the 20 week period based on the belief that fetuses are able to feel pain at that time. However, the American College of Gynecology disputes this assertion, stating that there is “no legitimate evidence that fetuses can experience pain.”
Currently, four states – Nebraska, Oklahoma, Idaho and Kansas – have passed similar legislation. At the end of March, the Idaho Senate voted to approve the Unborn Child Protection Act, a bill banning abortions after 20 weeks, unless the woman’s life is endangered. The governor is expected to sign the bill, which makes it a felony for abortion providers to conduct the procedure after 20 weeks.