Senate bill seeks ban on abortion after 20 weeks

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by Associated Press

KTVB.COM

Posted on March 4, 2011 at 11:44 AM

Updated Friday, Mar 4 at 7:32 PM

BOISE -- A bill that would prohibit women from getting an abortion 20 weeks after becoming pregnant has cleared its first hurdle in the Idaho Senate.

The Senate State Affairs Committee introduced a bill Friday based on emerging, yet disputed medical evidence that fetuses 20 weeks post conception experience pain. Republican Sen. Chuck Winder says the bill simply protects the unborn from having to experience pain and suffering.

Winder's bill is being pushed by Idaho Right to Life and modeled after a Nebraska law that took effect in October and outlaws abortions after the 20th week of pregnancy.

The Idaho version would allow exceptions in cases when the mother's health is at risk.

Democratic Sen. Michelle Stennett says the bill risks a woman's right to choose and it poses a risk to physicians who perform other medical procedures critical during pregnancy.

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