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Published On: Thu, May 26th, 2016

South Carolina Gov Nikki Haley signs ban on abortions after 20 weeks, cites fetal pain science

South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley signed a bill into law on Wednesday that makes it illegal for a woman to obtain an abortion after her pregnancy reaches 20 weeks, press secretary Chaney Adams said. The Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act says there is “substantial medical evidence” that fetuses can feel pain by 20 weeks.

“After twenty weeks, the unborn child reacts to stimuli that would be recognized as painful if applied to an adult human, for example, by recoiling,” the bill says.
photo: 14 week fetus photo/ Your Pregnancy week by week

photo: 14 week fetus photo/ Your Pregnancy week by week

The law takes effect immediately. Abortions may be performed after 20 weeks only if the mother’s life is in jeopardy, Adams said.

The fetal pain study/studies has been a point of contention for many pro-life activists as pro-abortion supporters point to data from over ten years ago, a 2005 study which concluded that: “Evidence regarding the capacity for fetal pain is limited but indicates that fetal perception of pain is unlikely before the third trimester.” (Source: 2005 study in the Journal of the American Medical Association)

That said, Doctors on Fetal Pain has led the charge with new data and studies which point to over ten conclusions which indicate pain as early as 18-20 weeks: development of pain receptors, studies on stimulation and ablation of brain regions – full list HERE.

Haley’s signature makes South Carolina the 13th state to enforce a ban, along with Alabama, Arkansas, Indiana, Kansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Texas, West Virginia and Wisconsin.
Any physician who violates the law is guilty of a misdemeanor offense and faces a maximum sentence of three years imprisonment plus a potential fine.

The bill does not provide exceptions for rape or incest.

Gov Nikki Haley caricature

photo donkeyhotey @wordpress.com

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About the Author

- Roxanne "Butter" Bracco began with the Dispatch as Pittsburgh Correspondent, but will be providing reports and insights from Washington DC, Maryland and the surrounding region. Contact Roxie aka "Butter" at [email protected] ATTN: Roxie or Butter Bracco

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