Yesterday the Alabama State Senate approved the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act making it illegal for women to have an abortion after their 20th week of pregnancy.
The state’s House of Representatives voted 66 to 19 in favor of the bill and the Senate passed the bill by a 26 to 5 vote margin. Alabama now joins Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Oklahoma, and Nebraska in banning abortion after 20 weeks of gestation.
Before this bill, Alabama state law allowed abortion up to the stage of fetal viability, usually between 24 and 26 weeks gestation. The 20-week abortion ban would now make it a felony to perform an abortion after that time unless the woman’s pregnancy puts her at risk of death or substantial physical harm.
This bill takes into account that pre-born babies can feel pain early on:
“Modern medical science furnishes us with compelling evidence that unborn children recoil from painful stimuli, that their stress hormones increase when they are subjected to any painful stimuli, and that they require anesthesia for fetal surgery,” Mary Spaulding Balch, a spokeswoman for the national pro-life group, said in a statement. “Therefore, the states have a compelling interest in protecting unborn children who are capable of feeling pain from abortion.”
State Senator Scott Beason who sponsored the bill said that “for a long time the womb was an unknown universe, and I think Roe vs. Wade was based on the idea that so much was not known.”
The bill makes no exceptions for cases of rape or incest.
Read Danielle’s blog Just Write Mom.