On Wednesday, the Idaho Senate State Affairs Committee voted 7-2 to approve a bill banning abortions after 20 weeks, unless the woman’s life is endangered. The bill will go to the state Senate for a vote.
Steven Olsen, the chief of the Idaho attorney general’s civil litigation division, stated that the bill is “unconstitutional under the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution insofar as it proscribes some non-therapeutic abortions even before a fetus has reached viability.” Moreover, the American College of Gynecology disputes assertions made by Idaho’s Republican senators that fetuses can feel pain at 20 week, stating that there is “no legitimate evidence that fetuses can experience pain.”
In April 2010, Nebraska Governor Dave Heineman signed a bill outlawing abortion after 20 weeks. Prior to the passage of the new law, Nebraska law restricted abortion after viability, which occurs on a case-by-case basis, but is generally accepted to be between 22 and 24 weeks. Nebraska is also the first state to restrict access to abortion by requiring a doctor to screen women for any mental or physical problems before they perform the procedure.