Fetal Pain Bill Advances

Oklahoma City, OK – Okla. lawmakers endorse fetal pain abortion ban

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) Doctors who perform abortions in Oklahoma after a woman reaches 20 weeks of pregnancy could face felony charges under a bill overwhelmingly approved by a Senate committee.

The Senate Health and Human Services Committee voted 6-1 on Monday for the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, a measure based on the idea that a fetus can experience pain after 20 weeks. The House-passed bill now heads to the full Senate.

An exemption to the law is provided for abortions performed when the life of the mother is at risk or if there is a risk of physical impairment of a "major bodily function."

State Sen. Clark Jolley, who sponsored the bill, says there is no exception in cases where a fetal abnormality is detected after 20 weeks of pregnancy.