Ala. legislators debate bill to restrict abortion

Associated Press - March 23, 2011 6:24 AM ET

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) - Alabama legislators are considering a bill that would ban elective abortions starting at 20 weeks of pregnancy.

The House Health Committee has scheduled a public hearing Wednesday on a bill by Republican Rep. Kerry Rich of Albertville that is patterned after a Nebraska law. His bill says the 20-week restriction is needed because unborn children can feel pain by then. The only exception for an abortion after 20 weeks would be when the mother is facing death or substantial, irreversible physical impairment.

Opponent say Alabama is 1 of at least a dozen states where similar legislation is being considered this spring.

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